Last Modified on Jan 23, 2014<< Continued from page 6
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Cod Liver Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Onion Juice
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Baking Soda
- Beta Carotene, Oregano Oil
- Dermal Melasma
- General Feedback
- Glycolic Acid
- Grape Seed Extract, Vitamins
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Grapefruit Seed Extract, MSM
- GSE, MSM, Zinc
- Herb Tea
- Hormone Cause
- Horseradish, Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Kapalbhati Pranayam
- Melasma Creams That Don't Work
- Microdermabrasion Treatments
- MSM, Apple Cider Vinegar
- MSM, Gluthathione, Vit C, GSE
- MSM, Grape Seed Extract
- MSM, Vitamin C
- MSM, Vitamin C, Grape Seed, H2O2
- MSM, Vitamin C, Grapefruit Seed Extract
- MSM, Vitamin C, GSE, H2O2
- Multiple Remedies
- Multiple Remedy Success
- Onion Juice, Hydrogen Peroxide
- Prescription Drugs
- Remedies Needed
- Rosehip Seed Oil, Squalene Oil
- Skin Lightening Remedies
- Ted's Remedies
- The Copper Link
- Vegetarian Diet, Beets
- Vitamins, Prescription Cream
- Website Scams
- White Vinegar, Raw Potato Juice, Vitamin E
11/09/2010: Suzy from Tallmadge, Ohio: "Ive had melasma which has covered nearly 40% of my face. It started about a 1 1/2 years ago. I got a little spot on my nose and around my upperlip. 6 months ago it started very quickly to spread. I went to several Dr even cleveland clinic and they gave me creams but nothing worked. They all told me the same thing. "Theres nothing you can do, it will probably get worse." I wasnt willing to believe that. I started reading natural cures and heard about apple cider vinegar and tried it. It got a little better. So I realized that there has to be a cure otherwise it wouldnt have helped at all. I had a spot on my fingernail which I believed was fungus. I also had granuloma Annular on my neck and when I put Apple cider vinegar on it it helped the nail and eliminated the granuloma completely. So then I realized they had to be connected to the melasma. I began my mission. I had been to several Dr. I knew that all 3 were related, they all told me I was crazy that there was no connection. I knew if I could find what cured my fingernail it would cure the melasma. Each dr perscribed something diffrent nothing worked. So I began doing more research on the internet and realized what I needed was Doxycylene and prednisone to cure it. Sure enough it worked 5 days later the bacteria in my nail is gone and so is the melasma. I think mine was caused from a bacteria in my body. Dont give up you just need to know where its coming from..... Good luck!!!!! Suzy"Replies
06/13/2011: Aerin from Vancouver, Bc, Canada replies: "Hi Suzy, after reading your post I have realized that my melasma may also be connected to a fungus. I have had melasma for several years now and for the last 2-3 years have also had a reoccuring foor fungus! I have tried creams perscribed by my doctor for the foot fungus but nothing is working and if it does work it comes back.
I am going to ask my doctor about the medications you were taking but I am worried he will not let me try them. did your doctor just give them to you when you asked for them? I looked them up and found that Doxycylene is used for acne and bacterial infections but I don't understand what the prednisone was used for? Could you explain I am so tired of having melasma!! Please help!"
11/27/2013: Binita from Delhi: "I am looking for melasma treatment in short span of time."
11/20/2013: Thrilogna from Hyderabad, Indida: "Please help me for"my skin became black after done bleach"....plz suggest me for how to use this for getting my colour back.....and also tell me where apple cider vinegar is available in Hyderabad?"
EC: You might find some useful information on our "Where to Locate" apple cider vinegar page.
11/22/2012: Ponatshego from Gaborone, Botswana: "I have serious condition of chloasma on my face and would like to know if there is any remedy for that."
07/12/2012: Hiwot from Oakland, California: "Hello, I am 34 years old women and I am suffering from Melasma on both my cheeks and I never taken pill in my life and I never smoke or drink or sex. I don't understand my problem especially before start my period, a few days before, it is getting really dark my melasma then a little lighten up. I have something burning around my vagina it may be is that a cause I don't know what. I am really have a problem please help, thanks for your time. By the way this Melasma start after I moved from my country to US one year later. I remember one month the first time in my life my period jumped one month. I only see some sticky blood clot then the next month back my period then still my period is coming on time but I have sometimes painful cramp sometimes even I didn't feel nothing. I don't know exactly what is my problem no health insurance pls. help with home remedies thanks again."Replies
07/13/2012: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Hiwat, strange things happen to people who move to a new country, because of the sudden (or not so sudden) change in climate, diet, and way of life. Maybe try to duplicate as much as you can, the living conditions and diet of your previous place of residence."
07/13/2012: Heather from Leicester replies: "Hi, there are different minerals in different countries which we ingest in numerous ways, through drinking, eating , bathing etc so this could be it. Ted talks about melasma and hormone imbalance and cures in the remedy section for melasma."
07/10/2012: Sara from San Juan Capistrano, Ca: "Hi! I am 33-old and have HORRIBLE melasma. I really want to start on a vitamin regime and ACV treatment but I am finding it hard to find a starting point. I am wondering if I can be part of this group! Thanks"
03/15/2012: Lotus from Basking Ridge, Nj, Usa: "I have melasma on my upper part of my cheeks, on the sides of my eyes, upper lip, forehead and on top of my nose. On top of my nose seems to be fading. It is very embarassing since I am a consultant and have to look for new contracts every so often, it is hard for me to face the person I am talking to, feel very conscious of myself. I am 52 years old, working as a Software consultant and have been going through peri-menopause/menopause since 2 years. I have been having hemorroids as well, for which I am taking homeopathic medication. I am quite active, usually exercise 6-7 hours a week. Average at least 5 hours. So I am in no way sedentary. I eat quite healthy vegetarian diet, including dairy products. Not a big eater. I have tried hydro quinone based topical cream prescribed by a dermatologist about 2 years ago, to no avail. I don't want to do any those treatments that can make my skin vulnerable to skin cancers. As such I am very light skinned. Would prefer doing natural treatments. Just today upon reading on your website, started on the Apple Cider Vinegar/Onion juice combo treatment for my face. Keeping my fingers crossed and determined to try for at least a few months.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
03/15/2012: Karen from Baltimore, Md replies: "I have worked in Dermatology offices for years and FYI - Hydroquinone products and chemical peels do not make you prone to skin cancer or any other cancers. They are the gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation like melasma. Just use a SPF 30 everyday to protect against skin cancer.
Onion juice and Cider Vinegar prob won't do anything but make you smell funny:) You can try it though I don't think it will harm you.
[Deleted paragraph promoting commercial product]
good luck!! Hope it works for you as well."
09/09/2011: Aria from London, Uk: "Hi, I am 19 and have had discolouration on my upper lip and since I was around 12 and has recently spread to my forehead. A few months ago I went doctors and I was given Azelaic acid 20%, it was extremly burning on my skin for the first week and actually after 2 months of use the melasma began to spread. After I stopped using the cream the melasma that spread on my upper lip faded away but not on my forehead.
I have had the upper lip disoloration since I was about 12 years old and when I wake up in the morning my upper lip is not dark at all but given a few seconds it darkens. I am also indian and don't put anything on my face such as makeup or wax.
Because I've had it for so long I cannot pin point a cause. I have never taken birth control pills.
Please can someone tell me about it, if it's maybe due to yeast/fungus etc. and maybe tell me why, if you know the cause because it started when I was around 12.
Also what natural treatments are there and supplements?
Thank you for reading."Replies
09/10/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Aria, here is an interesting piece in Curezone relating melasma to a an excess of copper in the body. Interesting reading.. it may offer you some guidance.
08/13/2011: Sonia from New York, Usa: "Hi I am a victim of melasma. And reading all this info is a bit comforting. I am going to try somethings new for me and hope I can get some response. I need to try to attack it from inside out. do you have any suggestions?
The only thing I would like to ask is, dont you have any new information? the updated info here goes back to 2010. I appreciate it if you look into this... And keep it updated. Thank you"Replies
08/22/2011: Nylle from Falls Church, Fairfax County replies: "I have been a researcher / practitioner esoteric Ayurveda and Karmic Energy Healing for over five decades. Melasma is caused by an improper flow of energies of the Liver-Spleen meridian and the Kidney meridian as do most skin ailments. The severity of the skin illness depends on the degree or intensity of negative flow of these two energies.
There are pressure points on both palms that could be activated plus certain ayurvedic medication such as Arogyavardhini (for liver/spleen) Chandraprabah (urogenital tract and Kidneys) and Neem capsules (for blood purification) to heal this problem or any skin problem. Avoid eating cooked tomatoes, pickles (avoid vinegar), coffee, alcohol, junk food, meats of any kind until the skin becomes totally clear. The time taken to heal the problem depends on how severe the problem is and how one adheres to the healing regime."
06/25/2011: Waheed from Peshawar Pakistan, Peshawar: "how is I clear my melasma from my face. My age is 17 male and I am become bother from melasma and I want to give help in the clear of my melasma."Replies
06/25/2011: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "I was able to address my melasma w/ homemade kefir. It was the most effective thing of anything I tried. Check into it. You have to get kefir grains to make your own.
Read about it here: http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/kefir.html#RF"
Rosehip Seed Oil, Squalene Oil
[YEA] 10/15/2013: Rr from Colorado: "Melasma Remedy Treatment (Rosehip Seed Oil and Squalene Oil)
I've tried just about everything for pregnancy induced melasma. It was embarassing and was getting to the point that even makeup couldn't cover it. I was reserved to just use sunblock and dermablend concealer for the rest of my life, but then I happen chanced on something that worked.
I had previously tried EVERYTHING, even that nasty skin bleaching cream, but nothing worked. I started making my own beauty products and purchased a couple of oils to make a natural anti-aging cream for my eyes. However, I was lazy and just mixed the two oil 50/50 and put it around my eyes, accidentally getting some on my temples (where the worst of my melasma is)... A few hours later I looked in the mirror and was FLOORED at what I saw. The melasma was significantly lighter. I begin putting it on my entire face and in just two days it is 75% gone. I am NOT exaggerating. I didn't need concealer today and just used a light BB cream and it blended in nicely. I imagine after a few more weeks, it should be all but gone. I am going to add a few more EO's and carrier oils to a serum too and test those out. If you want it to fade, while smoothing your complexion out, use RoseHIP seed oil (not rose oil) and squalene oil (derived from olive oil). Mix the two 50/50 in a bottle and apply liberally on your skin. It is also helping with the thin and dry skin on my hands and I'm testing it on scars and stretchmarks too."Replies
01/19/2014: Leanh** from Australian replies: "Wow, this sounds amazing! Can I ask for an update to your melasma using the rosehip oil and squalane oil? Is it still working and have you done anything else since then to help with your melasma? I have melasma and really want it gone too :-("
[YEA] 01/28/2010: Liza from Phoenix, Az, Usa: "Hi all,
I have tried almost every remedy on this site for the last two years to help my melasma: hydrogen peroxide, grapefruit seed extract (GSE), MSM supplementation and horseradish. In addition, I have tried Tri-Luma cream from my dermatologist. I also have worn 50 sunscreen every day from La Roche Posay. Though I appreciated everyone's posts, unfortunately, nothing seemed to work.
Until now. I wanted to share this with everyone on the message board because I found the suggestions here so helpful. Basically, I started taking 200mcg of selenium, a mineral that's supposed to help with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Within three weeks of taking it, my fatigue had improved AND...my melasma was completely gone. I was shocked and did some research. Turns out that in the same way that yeast overgrowth can affect some people with melasma, there are other people with thyroid problems who are more affected by melasma as well. Here's a link to a scientific study: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/61/1/28
(In case the link doesn't work, here the info:Association of Melasma with Thyroid Autoimmunity and Other Thyroidal Abnormalities and Their Relationship to the Origin of the Melasma*
RUBÉN J. LUTFI, MIGUEL FRIDMANIS, ALEJANDRO L. MISIUNAS, OSCAR PAFUME, ENRIQUE A. GONZALEZ, JORGE A. VILLEMUR, MIGUEL A. MAZZINI and HUGO NIEPOMNISZCZE)
I should add that I also take fish oil, evening primrose oil and a B vitamin, but the melasma didn't go away until I started with the selenium. HOWEVER, selenium can be toxic at high doses (400mcg)--PLEASE consult with your doctor to find if you are deficient or have other thyroid problems. This probably won't help everyone unfortunately, but those few of you with undiagnosed thyroid issues it may help. And since selenium is quite inexpensive, that's nice too. :)"
05/12/2010: Michelle from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Hi Liza,
I happened to stumble across this website by accident and saw your post.
I am almost 41 and have had Melasma for about 4 1/2 years. I have never been on the pill and could not understand how I ended up with this. I guess I thought that living in Australia, this was the result of sun damage, even though I have dark skin and have never had a need to tan.
I have however, recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease (hypothyroidism)! I read the link that you posted and it all started to fall into place! Can you tell me how you found out about Selenium for Melasma?
Your post has given me hope.
I look forward to you reply.
11/17/2011: Andrea from Rowville, Victoria ,australia replies: "Hi I have suffered from melasma now for 6 years and also live in Australia, I've just started taking selenium as well but dont think I have a thyroid problem. I had perfectly toned skin until we went on a European holiday in 2006 and I started getting brown blotches all over my face, I later learnt that the mynocycline I was taking for acne could have been the culprit but I was also on another medication for anxiety, that I found out 7 months ago can also cause hyperpigmentation, but I stopped that 7 months ago and instead of fading my melasma is spreading :( not fun , I'm now at a loss. Never been on BC pills , had my hormones checked recently and everything was normal. I've tried everything you can think of, spent thousands of dollars, it would be great to keep in touch since we both live in Australia, I feel like the only person on this planet with this disfiguring mask:("
Skin Lightening Remedies
05/31/2013: Sanjna from India: "My skin colour is fair but the skin outside my vagina, under arms and inner thighs is dark due to the use of hair removing creams. I am going to marry in 2 months. I am virgin and physically fit. I desperately need to lighten the skin color of these areas very fast.. ASAP. Can Isopropyl Alcohol be of any help? Please suggest fast remedies without any side effects."Replies
05/31/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Every time I bathe in milk of magnesia I look like a ghost when I get out of the tub.... Maybe put some topically on those areas and leave it.... Wouldn't hurt might help, some people use it for deodorant ( but some get tiny bumps and have to discontinue use)and I know it is good for removing dead skin cells and the magnesium in it is good for your muscles."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/11/2010: Reina from New York, Ny, Usa: "Yea!!!!, thank you, gracias, merci, Grapefruit seed 125mg capsules x 4 and msm 1000mg x 4 and Vit C 100m x 4 and liver clean herbal capsules x 4 and since i am a true believer in my chinese herbs, i drink one that they sell for pigmentation and put 300mg of chinese pearl powder in my morning green smoothie and today was my first day on the GSE,MSM,VITC,liver clean at about 3 hr intervals and tonite, MY MELASMA ON MY UPPER LIP is outrageously lighter...after i washed off my makeup tonite i started to cry i am so shocked and happy.....this is a huge miracle as I have suffered from this problem for about 3 or 4 years now. I did microdermabrasion, laser, obagi, electrolysis, every medication on the shelves of every store in manhattan and nothing absolutely nothing ever had this lightening effect. it's as if i sat out under the moon instead of the sun.
i also use the derma roller on my skin for about 2 weeks now and it had not had this effect.
after i use the roller i apply castor oil and do a acupressure type massage and then apply msm lotion and then dmso on my face.
i am a raw vegan foodie and drink black coffee in the morning to get angry enuf to practice law in nyc. i am also a big fan of cacao (chocolaholic) not milk chocolate-the real stuff.
i am a long distance runner, am 51 and look 35 and spend loads of time in the sun.
no matter what i did i could not get rid of the dark spots that first started on my lip because of the waxing and then all of the other procedures to get rid of the hairs on my lip which i believe started because of minoxidol and then menopause which started at 49.
my hair started thinning at about 37 and now i have a full head of very long hair but it found its way to my eyebrows (which i like) and my lip which i do not like.
so i am now relegated to using that teeny tiny razor, uggh, very embarassing to admit, and thus the stain....have not used the minoxidol for about two days, since i learned that rubbing my nail beds together for 5 mins a day, stopped the hair loss when i use the flat iron.
whew, i know that is a lot of info but i am so happy i cannot stop writing.
Thank you for existing Earth Clinic. Thanx community of very beautiful givers on this site. If anybody needs anything from me reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BTW, i am olive skinned but with the yellow undertone, latina, brown hair and so very humbled and happy. i can't wait to go out, i had been staying home because of shame and thought everyone was looking at my lip.
11/06/2012: Eula from Texas, Usa replies: "I really want to try GFSE to treat my Melasma and other problems but the thing is, I'm taking Simvastatin and Quinapril... By using GFSE externally do you think it will help me get rid of it?"
07/11/2006: Denise : "I need help in finding a remedy for melasma. I have tried numerous products synthetic and natural. There must be a combination out there that will fade this and age spots. Please let me know if there is help out there. I prefer to use natural products."Replies
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "First, melasma is a case of hyperpigmentation of the skin caused by hormonal imbalance, and is usually found but not exclusively in women on hormone replacements and pregnancy.
Since excess hormones is at issue, the most common problems I have seen people with this condition is oxidative damaged caused by hormones as it tends to cause condition of the skin to hyper-repair, such as when you have a cut or scrapes on your skin. When it does that the skin gets dark from the scars. When the skin cells get damaged, the skin tend to be darker. The condition is really opposite of tinea, which is relatively well understood, and it causes the lack of pigmentation. This is due to the acids which is produced by the fungus that destroys the excess skin pigmentation. These are more than enough clues to know where the treatment is going.
For one thing, when your body have excess hormones, the best way to get about that (besides reducing excess hormones if you can), is that since excess hormones causes excess oxidative damage to the skin, the skin goes on hyper activity. As a result oxidative damage is the cause. Therefore you need obviously, antioxidants. Since the skin is on hyper the body's demand to build collagen goes on hyper too, therefore, you need a supportive supplements which supports that too. Since vitamin C enchances collagen production as well as being antioxidant, it would therefore be logical to take a large does of vitamin C and other antioxidants, in particular, selenium, silicon magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E.
It has been my experience that when oxidative damage does occur (and it usually does) the body's sugar levels and fat metabolism is at risk. Therefore taking lecithin appears ideal to handle the body's ability to remove excess oxidants and fats when the body is hyper. When that happens, skin pigmentation is reduced.
It would also appear, possibly that by washing the skin where there is melasma using vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar would help as this is acid, removes excess oils would help suppress hyperpigmentation as mentioned in the case of tinea and this can theoretically be a supportive therapy to do that too.
Licorice extract obviously will reduce hyperpigmentation as it is a common skin whitening agent and this supportive therapy will also reduce excess hyperpigmentation. It is quite common when hormone is in excess that the adrenal exhaustion appears a possibility, so taking some licorice extract, one teaspoon to 1 tablespoon for only a week would also alleviate the condition too.
There are many ways I deal with melasma, one way was for me to mix evening primrose oil, vitamin E, together with some aloe vera oil to help reduce the darkening or excess skin (pigmentation) also. Of course, this is not done everyday, I do it maybe once a week. It helps smooth out the skin and reduce the hyperpigmentation too.
These are only one of the many ways you can deal with melasma. There are other ways, but this should handle most people with this conditon, assuming of course it is not a severe one and that would take much longer to heal and treatment is more difficult."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand writes: "Your melasma depends on what kind you are taking about. If it is aged spots or liver, Vitamin B3 niacinamide (nicotinic acid) NOT niacin, will dissolve the age spots on your skin. It must be done long and frequent enough, about 3 months. I make it stronger by adding a 10% DMSO solution and water and added maybe 20% niacinamide to apply to the skin. Of course, for me one single application does it, but that is more like getting dead skin cells out, and age spots take a while longer.
Now another kind of melasma is fungus related. once we know the organism then treatment should be quite simple enough. A boric acid solution maybe 10% enough can be done and applied onto skin should kill it. Of course, at the time my friend had melasma, I have her lavender oil + tea tree oil, to be applied frequent enough throughout the day. It takes about a month of application before the melasma will reduced, but you should notice improvement within a week. A weak copper chloride solution of 5% applied onto skin might also help too. Copper is fairly toxic to the fungus."
08/17/2009: Emma from Toronto, Ontario, Canada replies: "Ted, thanks for your suggestions. Could you provide a bit more advice on your niacinamide recipe? If you are making up a face mixture using powder from caplets - how much would you use. The caplets I have come in 500mg. I might try mixing it up with my licorice extract powder into a mask. Thanks for any advice and will let you know how it goes. Emma"
11/12/2010: Chng from Singapore replies: "Hi, I'm new to this site and I have hyperpigmentation problems on my upper cheeks. I would like to try the niacinamide paste on my face. But wouldn't it be better to consume it orally?
Please advise. Thanks, Chng"
12/14/2011: Facelift from Kuwait replies: "I read with interest the remedies and success of some on their treatment of melasma/dark patches. I'm inspired and hopeful but cannot help but wonder if over 12 years any damage due to any cause would have corrected itself by now?If it's an excess of hormones (estrogen?) would menopause help to fade the mask? If it's sun damage would skin not have "changed" by now.. 12 years on? Is there still hope with these bleaching techniques? Topical ACV, horseradish, vit E, C and antioxidants in diet?
I hope so....
Thank you all .. I hope I get your results too."
05/08/2012: Geeta from Edison, Nj, Usa replies: "I have melasma from last 7 years. Can some please let me know how should I apply ACV. Do I have to wash it off after few minute of application or can leave it for whole night on face? Appriciate your help. Geeta"
08/14/2012: Melasma Sufferer from Lexington, Ky replies: "Ted, Please assist. I've had dermal melasma for years on both cheeks and always use sunscreen, etc. It is very embarrassing. Do you have any suggestions?"
10/18/2012: In from Nowhere replies: "My dark spots started to appear on my upper cheeks evenly on both sides about two years ago. I have tried many doctor perscribed bleaching creams and retinal creams for months... Money wasted. I also spent $1100 on a chemical facial peel that hurt like heck only to find out 3 weeks later after looking like a burnt victim those dark spots came right back. This makes me so angry I want to take a blade and cut them off. I cant stand looking at myself - and this is not what I looked like two years ago."
10/22/2012: Gina C from Marseille, France replies: "Hi Ted, I have developed post inflamatory hyperpigmentation 6 months ago after a dermatologist administered a TCA peel to remove my sunspots. The results are now much worse, with a big dark patch on my cheek; and I can no longer go out without a hat and sunscreen. I am devestated and desperately searching for a cure so I can have my life back. Can you suggest what the best treatment would be for me? I have stopped using the presribed hydraquinone but there are so many alternative treatments online; I dont know where to start. Thank you so much for your help."
12/12/2012: Lg from Columbus, Oh replies: "Natural Melasma Cures: What I've Found that Works- I never write on forums, but I've wanted to share what how I'm battling my Melasma, and it's almost gone!! To this day all that is left is light faint patch above my lips(which I need to get about 12 inches from the mirror to even see); and everyday improving since it's working I wanted to share ASAP. Also as a way, I appreciate everyone else sharing their solutions to Melasma as it has taken me YEARS to get rid of, hundreds of dollars testing and trying different skin creams, etc etc etc..
I'm 29 don't smoke/never been pregnant/ never taken birth control pills/ exercise regularly/ mostly vegetarian diet, though I eat meat. I first saw signs of Melasma 3 years ago. It was the perfect storm-- I waxed my upper lip with a homemade honey/lemon/sugar wax. I just finished a harsh dose of antibiotics and it was March and I was spending the first sunny days garden without sunscreen. That's when a few small dots above my upper lip appeared that I thought were freckles. I now have melasma above my lip, on my nose, forehead and faintly on my cheeks. Right before this, I believe I suffered from adrenal fatigue I went to a doctor who performed blood tests and check up, said I was fine and he chalked it up to depression. (About me, I am a POSITIVE person, and always baseline happy I was just exhausted someone in their midtwenties shouldn't be so exhausted that they can barely function more than a few hours a day). I had just finished a stressful thesis program, and was having relationship stress with my boyfriend of 5 years at the time. After reading about copper toxicity, I believe I have/had it due to my mainly vegetarian diet and a number of other factors. I have very light/pale skin and have been exposed to high levels of UV light living in tropics for years (before melasma appeared) which probably didn't help.
How I've Battled Melasma
Even after avoiding the sun like the plague, I still had melasma. I read everything I could online, first starting with a regimen of straight organic apple cider vinegar nightly and using clinique's even better dark spot corrector, sunscreen/hats etc. , my melasma was geting worse. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed a solution of hydroquinone which I used for a while, and it wasn't working; my upper lip was darkening, I was getting more spots on my forehead. I kept up w/ apple cider vinegar/lemon. Then I read about mandelic/malic acid. I started using mandelic/malic acid for about 3 months; my melasma didn't get better, at first it was great felt like I had bran new baby skin, soft, smooth and tight (though my complaint was that it is very sticky), AND, my skin started getting "poc" marks almost like acne scarring, and it was very dry, it wasn't helping so I stopped using it. I do like to drink coffee---this intake increased living in Seattle for a year which I thought would be an advantage in avoiding the sun, especially while doing a malic/mandelic acid peel. I started taking thyroid energy pills and noticed a faint improvement; my melasma was getting lighter. Now, my melasma is noticeably better; so much so that I have to get about a foot away from the mirror to see it on my upper lip. My forehead and cheek spots are lightened and almost gone. I hope to keep up my regimen below and add some new things for hope that it finally goes away for good fingers crossed. Wishing you the best, and NO MORE SPOTS!
What Works for Me
Now Thyroid Energy vcaps: (Vitamin B-6 2 mg; Folate 400 mcg; Vitamin B-12 60 mcg; Iodine 225 mcg; Zinc 25 mg; Selenium 50 mcg; Copper 1 mg; L-Tyrosine 1g; Irish Moss 200 mg; Guggul 75 mg; Organic Kelp 60 mg; Ashwagandha 50 mg)
Now vitamin D-3 softgels 1,000x2-3 IU
Ester-C vitamin C500 mg
Zinc 50 mg
Now Omega 3-6-9 softgels1000mg or Cod Liver Oil
Multivitamin (25mg zinc, 1 mg copper)
So, I rotate a daily multivitamin with thyroid energy pills. I won't take both the same day. If I'm feeling low on energy I'll continue with the thyroid energy vcaps for a while. I try to take vitamin d everyday in the winter 3,000 IU. I take omega 3, 6, 9 softgels about every 3rd day, and vitamin C every 3 days. I'll also take a dose of zinc 50 mg if I'm feeling sluggish. So these are the supplements I rotate between. I still have coffee about 3x a week 16 oz each, slowly replacing it with caffeine free herbal teas.
I've changed my diet to mostly vegetables, 1 serving of meat per day, at least some red meat once a week. I have fruit smoothies, greek yogurt, spinach orange juice, almonds for breakfast. I try to avoid gluten, but still have breads. I noticed that when I tried a Paleodiet for a month, my melasma faded away very quickly. I don't know if it was because of an increase in vegetables or cutting out gluten that helped, but it did.
I also keep up with cardio exercise, pilates, yoga mixing it up between them.
Outside Skin Care Daily:
Tea tree oil face wash 2x a day
Dark spot corrector moisturizer (after wash)
Night moisturizer (rotate between vitamin E oil roll on, Evening Primrose oil cold pressed soft gels)
Radiance Night Creme
Concealer for my upper lips:
water resistant concealer
24 hour concealer
Only in spring/summer/early fall:
natural sun screen:lavender
green tea sun screen
What I Want to Try:
Alba papaya face extract
grapefruit seed extract
What didn't work for me:
Apple cider vinegar full on application/ watered down versions
mandelic/malic acid 12% and 20% solutions
dark spot corrector (did not work my first two years, though maybe working now)
Skin Spot corrector"