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 [email protected]
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.
The Copper Link
Please read below - Melasma is a yeast fungus overgrowth caused by too much Copper in the body due to birth control pills and/or a vegetarian diet. (Moisturizers in creams and makeup feeds the yeast)
Pure aloe vera gel applied 3 - 4 times a day to the face and supplements of MSM, Zinc, Calcium, iodine,liquid from kelp and vitamin C will purge the body of excess copper and your melasma will dissapear. Avoid all foods high in copper. After it is gone - Highly recommend taking an excellent Multi Vitamin w/o copper, but with all of the anti copper supplements in the vitamin and probiotics and digestive enzymes daily.
Copper Toxicity Syndrome
Other Contributing Causes of Copper Toxicity
The following factors are also major contributing factors to copper toxicity: use of birth control pills, copper intrauterine devices, antibiotic therapy, stress, strict vegetarian diets and refined food diets which are deficient in zinc.
Do you know anyone who suffers from headaches, fatigue, insomnia, depression, spaciness, learning disorders or premenstrual syndrome? These can be symptoms of a copper imbalance.
Copper, an essential trace mineral, is vitally important for both physical and mental health. It has been studied for years, including at government laboratories. However, its importance for health is still largely unappreciated. The following is but an introduction. The author is deeply indebted to Dr. Paul C. Eck, an avid copper researcher.
COPPER'S ROLE IN THE BODY
Copper is critical for energy production in the cells. It is also involved in nerve conduction, connective tissue, the cardiovascular system and the immune system. Copper is closely related to estrogen metabolism, and is required for women's fertility and to maintain pregnancy. Copper stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production.
It is possible to become copper-toxic or copper-deficient, and there is a condition called biounavailable copper. In the latter, copper is present, but cannot be utilized. Toxicity and biounavailability are seen most often. This article uses the words copper imbalance when more than one situation is possible.
Physical conditions associated with copper imbalance include arthritis, fatigue, adrenal burnout, insomnia, scoliosis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, migraine headaches, seizures, fungal and bacterial infections including yeast infection, gum disease, tooth decay, skin and hair problems and female organ conditions including uterine fibroids, endometriosis and others.
Mental and emotional disorders related to copper imbalance include spaciness, depression, mood swings, fears, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, violence, autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. Copper deficiency is associated with aneurysms, gout, anemia and osteoporosis.
Interestingly, the symptoms of premenstrual tension are identical to the symptoms of copper imbalance.
SOURCES OF COPPER
Today, many children are born with excessive tissue copper. It is passed from high-copper mothers to their children through the placenta.
Stress from any cause contributes to copper imbalance. Stress depletes the adrenal glands and lowers the zinc level in the body. Whenever zinc becomes deficient, copper tends to accumulate. Our soil is low in zinc. Refined sugar, white rice and white flour have been stripped of their zinc. The trend toward vegetarianism reduces zinc in the diet, since red meat is the best dietary source of zinc.
Copper is found in many foods, particularly vegetarian proteins such as nuts, beans, seeds and grains. Meats contain copper, but it is balanced by zinc which competes for its absorption. Chocolate is high in copper. A desire for copper may help explain chocolate cravings.
Another source of copper is drinking water that remained in copper water pipes, or copper added to your water supply. During a recent dry summer, several Oregon cities added copper sulfate to their reservoirs to reduce algae growth. Accident and disease rates increased.
Other sources of copper are copper cookware, dental materials, vitamin pills, fungicides and pesticides residues on food, copper intra-uterine devices and birth control pills. Mrs. Robinson and her 6-month-old, breast-fed baby both began to experience hair loss. The cause was a daily prenatal vitamin containing 4 milligrams of copper, far too much for this high-copper mother.
Deficiencies of manganese, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin C can cause copper to accumulate. Adrenal hormones cause the liver to produce ceruloplasmin, the main copper binding protein in the body. Therefore, sluggish liver or weak adrenal glands may cause copper to build up in the tissues.
THE COPPER PERSONALITY
There is a high copper personality. Positive traits include a warm, caring, sensitive, emotional nature, often with artistic orientation and a child-like quality. Often high-copper people are young-looking. Many traditional feminine traits are associated with copper such as softness, gentleness and intuitiveness.
When the personality is not fully integrated or the copper becomes too high, negative traits show up. These include spaciness, racing thoughts, living in a dream world, naiveté, childishness, excessive emotions, sentimentality, a tendency to depression, fearfulness, hidden anger and resentments, phobias, psychosis and violence. Artists, inventors and other high-copper types often "live on the edge", in part due to their high copper level.
The copper personality tends to accumulate copper easily. Copper functions as a psychological defense mechanism. It causes one to detach slightly from reality. This provides relief from stress for the sensitive individual. It works well as long as the copper does not become too high. Very high copper can cause a psychotic break from reality, a type of schizophrenia.
An 18-year old schizophrenic patient had a hair copper level of 40 mg% (normal is 2.5 mg %). She hallucinated and attempted suicide twice while in the Scottsdale Camelback Mental Hospital. When her copper decreased to normal through a diet and supplement program, her symptoms disappeared and she has remained well.
COPPER AND SOCIETY
Is it possible that our mineral balance affects our attitudes? Copper is called the 'psychic' mineral, the 'intuitive' mineral, and a 'feminine' mineral because it is so important for the female reproductive system. Its level generally parallels that of estrogen. While many factors influence our attitudes and values, the rise in tissue copper levels in both men and women in the past twenty years parallels renewed interest in feminism, in psychic and intuitive knowledge, and 'nurturing' movements such as environmentalism.
COPPER AND SEXUALITY
Women tend to have higher levels of copper than men. Women also have more symptoms related to copper imbalance. These include yeast infections, migraine headaches, adult acne, various menstrual symptoms and depression.
Copper-toxic women are often estrogen dominant. They may benefit from progesterone therapy to help balance their hormones. Women with biounavailable copper are often low in estrogen. Their bodies are often more linear in shape. Of course, copper is not the only factor affecting hormones. Some pesticides, for example, mimic the effects of estrogen and can affect the hormone balance.
Men, by contrast, should be zinc-dominant. Zinc, a 'masculine' element, balances copper in the body, and is essential for male reproductive activity. Today, however, many men have symptoms of copper toxicity including depression, anxiety and other symptoms. Homosexuality may be related to copper levels.
COPPER AND CHILDREN
Children are often born with high copper levels. Young children are very sensitive and intuitive. They often lose some of their sensitivity and 'psychic abilities' as their copper levels diminish around age four.
Persistent elevated copper levels in children are common today. The problem often begins during gestation, when high-copper mothers pass on excessive copper (and often low zinc) to the fetus through the placenta. This is called congenital, rather than genetic high copper. It can be prevented by correcting one's copper metabolism before becoming pregnant. After birth, poor nutrition, stress in the home, and overuse of prescription drugs can aggravate a child's copper imbalance.
Copper imbalance in children is associated with delayed development, attention deficit disorder, anti-social and hyperactive behavior, autism, learning difficulties and infections such as ear infections.
Excess copper interferes with zinc, a mineral needed to make digestive enzymes. Too much copper also impairs thyroid activity and the functioning of the liver. If severe enough, a person will become an obligatory vegetarian. This means they are no longer able to digest meat very well. Conversely, if one becomes a vegetarian for other reasons, most likely one's copper level will increase. Vegetarian proteins are higher in copper, and lower in zinc.
At times, the vegetarian orientation is health-producing. In many people, however, restricted diets do not work well. Fatigue, spaciness and other symptoms begin to appear. Many people, including the author, felt they were becoming more spiritual on a vegetarian diet, when in fact it was just copper poisoning! The taste for meat often returns when copper is brought into better balance.
Some people with high copper dislike all protein. They crave high-carbohydrate diets. Protein feels heavy or causes other symptoms. Eating protein stimulates glandular activity. This releases stored copper which causes the symptoms. However, these individuals usually need to eat protein. The symptoms will eventually disappear.
Copper-toxic individuals may also be drawn to sweets or salty foods due to adrenal insufficiency. Some sea salt is often beneficial. Sweets, including fruit juices, provide a temporary lift but may worsen the condition.
Adrenal burnout, characterized by chronic fatigue and other symptoms, is often related to fear and copper imbalance. Although correcting emotional and other factors are necessary, improving the copper imbalance, supporting the adrenals and releasing fearful thoughts go hand in hand to restore optimum health.
COPPER AND ADDICTION
Compulsive behavior may be related to copper and the adrenals. Exercise, for example, stimulates the adrenals. This helps keep copper available and makes one feel better. If one stops exercising, unbound copper builds up and one may feel fatigue, mood swings and depression. In some people, this can create a compulsive need to exercise. Other ways to temporarily control copper toxicity include the use of caffeine or other stimulants.
Part of the appeal of cocaine, Ritalin and amphetamines may be their ability to help lower copper temporarily by stimulating the adrenals. Cadmium found in marijuana and cigarettes drives copper back into storage. These drugs may make one feel better by affecting the copper balance.
COPPER AND YEAST INFECTION
Our bodies use copper to help control the growth of yeast. This may be because copper favors aerobic metabolism. Copper is required for the electron transport system, where most of our cellular energy is produced. Yeast organisms use anaerobic metabolism.
Copper sulfate is often sprayed on crops to kill yeast and fungus. Copper is also used in some swimming pools and hot tubs to control yeast and bacterial growth.
When copper is out of balance, our bodies cannot control yeast overgrowth. This often led to chronic Candida albicans infections that are resistant to treatment.
DETECTING COPPER IMBALANCE
Blood, urine and even hair analysis may not reveal copper toxicity directly. Copper is stored mainly in the brain, liver and other organs, not in the blood or urine.
Challenge tests with a chelating agent such as EDTA may be used to detect excess copper. Several indirect indicators on a hair mineral test are also excellent to detect copper imbalance. These include a hair calcium level greater than about 100 mg%, a potassium level less than about 3 mg%, a sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1, a zinc/copper ratio less than 6:1, an elevated mercury level or a copper level less than 1.0 mg%.
The author dealt with severe copper imbalance in himself and with many others for the past 18 years. Six methods are used to reduce copper in the tissues:
1) Reduce exposure to sources of copper.
2) Antagonists such as zinc, manganese and iron compete with copper for absorption and utilization. Vitamins B6 and folic acid may also be helpful. Selenium and cysteine may be helpful. Research indicates copper may be excreted by binding with glutathione and metallothionine which require these nutrients.
3) Chelators of copper include vitamin C, molybdenum and sulfur-containing amino acids. These bind and remove copper. More powerful chelators may be used, but can have side effects.
4) Enhance the eliminative organs, such as the liver, skin and colon.
5) Balance body chemistry, enhance energy production and improve adrenal gland activity. To support the adrenal glands, avoid sweets, eat protein with each meal, and supplement your diet with vitamins A, C and E, manganese, zinc and B-complex vitamins. Animal protein is very helpful due to its higher content of zinc, B-vitamins and sulfur amino acids including cysteine and taurine. Adrenal glandular substance is also frequently helpful.
6) Reduce fear and stress. Methods range from a change in location or work to meditation, therapy, more rest and other changes.
COPPER DETOXIFICATION SYMPTOMS
One of the difficulties in reducing excess copper are symptoms that arise during the process of elimination. As the body begins to mobilize excess copper from tissue storage sites, it enters the bloodstream on its way to the liver and kidneys for elimination. While in the bloodstream, the copper can cause headaches, skin rashes, racing thoughts, strange odors, digestive upset, mood swings and energy fluctuations. In men, testicular pain is not uncommon. Women's periods may be affected. If one knows what is occurring, it is possible to take measures to minimize these temporary elimination symptoms. Enemas, sweating, and drinking more water can help promote copper elimination. Reducing the nutrition program for a few days may also help slow the reactions and reduce symptoms if they are severe. Supplements particularly molybdenum, bile acids, laxative herbs and vitamin B6 may also mitigate elimination symptoms.
ATTITUDES TO HELP BALANCE COPPER
Adequate rest and sleep are important. Any technique to help handle stress is also helpful. A simple but powerful technique for handling all negative emotions is given in an excellent book, Emissary of Light, by James Twyman. He suggests feeling our negative emotions purely, dissociating them from thoughts. Feel them in the body. Then move the feeling to the heart area, visualize a small door just in front of you, open the door and release the emotion. Realize that all feelings are just energies. They can be transmuted, sent forth and used for good.
High copper people are often sensitive, must acknowledge this and 'live their own truth'. At the same time, a careful look at one's attitudes, especially hidden fears, angers and resentments, is very important. Overcoming copper imbalance often involves overcoming deep fears.
Life is not always easy for the copper-toxic person. There is a temptation to become resentful or depressed at times. With understanding, nutritional help and endless compassion for oneself, these obstacles can be overcome. Then the creative, intuitive and loving qualities of the high-copper individual can shine through to the world.
1. Eck, P. and Wilson, L., Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease, Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd., Phoenix, AZ, 1989.
2. Gittleman, A.L., Why Am I Always So Tired? Harper San Francisco, 1999.
3. Nolan, K., "Copper Toxicity Syndrome", J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry, 12:4, p.270-282.
4. Pfeiffer, Carl, MD, PhD, Mental and Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT., 1975.
4. Twyman, James F., Emissary of Light, Warner Books, New York, 1996.
Most health problems are related to nutritional deficiencies.
Thank you so much for that information about melasma being a fungus caused by coper toxicity. I eat a lot of copper rich foods although I'm not a vegetarian. I have been struggling with this stuff for 10 years. I'm now 40 and have not been on any B/C or HRT, nor had/have I been pregnant. I've been to several dr's and nothing has helped. I've even used the fungal cream on my face and took several weeks worth of internal fungal medication to no avail. When my body heats up the darker my patches get. It doesn't matter if I'm taking a warm shower or blow drying my hair. I always get darker when my body warms up. I've bought most of the supplements and am hoping I finally get some kind of relief from this ugly stuff that covers my forehead, cheeks, nose, upper lip, and now spreading to my chin. I've used every acid, lightening cream, etc. to no avail. My dr. suggested Fraxel, but I've heard that the results are only temporary and it's extremely expensive. It's just not for me. I did do the micro derm abrasion for 7 wks in a row with much success, but as soon as I quit going, it was back just as dark within 3 weeks. I couldn't afford to go once a week. But, your article has given me hope. I've researched this stuff sooo much, I'm blue in the face and I was ready to give up and quit trying until I read what you had posted. Thank you! If you can give me some idea of the dosages from your referances on the supplements, that would be wonderful. Currently I'm taking 1,000mg of msm, 1,000mg of C asorbic acid, 50mg of zinc, I'm also taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. All once a day. Thank you again! Laura in KS.
Melasma - regarding the GSE - is that Grapefruit seed extract or Grape Seed Extract?? I have Grape Seed Extract and if I take one pill 3x/day, it will only equal 90 mg, which would require 10 - 20 pills to equal the amount of liquid GSE taken by one successful user. Is this possible??
EC: GSE usually refers to Grapefruit Seed Extract.
This is a great article on copper. I take chlorophyllin, a copper based form of chlorophyll. I have only felt great and never felt bad since starting this two years ago. As a side comment. Chlorohphyll is identicle to hemoglobin. The only difference is a magnesium atom in the center of this ringed structure instead of iron,(for hemoglobin.) Chlorophyllin has copper in the middle and this pigment is hemoglobin for all mollusks and shellfish. I get sunburned pretty easily, (German and English genes.) If I am taking chlorophyllin I can golf or ski all day and it was as if I wore spf 15 sun screen. I haven't peeled in two years. Also, the next day. I have so much energy!
I posted a link about Copper and wanted to reply to Laura in Wichata. Laura, I take:
50mg Zinc w/ full range amino acid chelate
1,000 mg MSM
400 mg Magnesium w/ hydroxy acid orotates
Prenatal vitamin w/ no copper -
Sometimes an extra 500 mg vitamin C.
I read that some OB/GYNs tell their patients who get Melasma to take ZINC supplements - never take more than 50mg a day.
Pregant women's bodies start to store excessive amounts of copper in their bodies during their last trimester to prepare to give birth - this is when they get the "mask of pregnancey" melasma - excessive copper is what causes it.
Update on my regimine. After being on all the supplements for almost 3 months, I did not notice any difference in my melasma. Three weeks ago today, I started using the Mama lotion which is a mixture of mandelic and malic acids. Wow!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am with these acids! They have lightened my melasma up considerably!!! I'm so excited after all these years, I have finally found something that actually works! Today is the 3rd week of using it, I think in another month or two, my melasma might just be completely lightened. So, those of you trying everything on the face of the earth as I did. You might consider it.
Hi, this message is for Laura from Wichita, KS:
06/09/2008: Laura from Wichita, KS replies: "Sandra,
Thank you so much for that information about melasma being a fungus caused by coper toxicity. I eat a lot of copper rich foods although I'm not a vegetarian. I have been struggling with this stuff for 10 years. I'm now 40 and have not been on any B/C or HRT, nor had/have I been pregnant. I've been to several dr's and nothing has helped. I've even used the fungal cream on my face and took several weeks worth of internal fungal medication to no avail. When my body heats up the darker my patches get. It doesn't matter if I'm taking a warm shower or blow drying my hair. I always get darker when my body warms up. I've bought most of the supplements and am hoping I finally get some kind of relief from this ugly stuff that covers my forehead, cheeks, nose, upper lip, and now spreading to my chin. I've used every acid, lightening cream, etc. to no avail. My dr. suggested Fraxel, but I've heard that the results are only temporary and it's extremely expensive. It's just not for me. I did do the micro derm abrasion for 7 wks in a row with much success, but as soon as I quit going, it was back just as dark within 3 weeks. I couldn't afford to go once a week. But, your article has given me hope. I've researched this stuff sooo much, I'm blue in the face and I was ready to give up and quit trying until I read what you had posted. Thank you! If you can give me some idea of the dosages from your referances on the supplements, that would be wonderful. Currently I'm taking 1,000mg of msm, 1,000mg of C asorbic acid, 50mg of zinc, I'm also taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. All once a day. Thank you again! Laura in KS."
I am 28 yr old female. I was reading through your posts and I've also never taken BCPs, nor have I been pregnant. As far as I think, my melasma appeared due to stress. I bought Mama lotion last year and did not use it. Is it still working for you? I'm trying to write a grant for more research on melasma especially for women who have no pregnancy or BCP link. I'm a PhD student in Genetics. I'll appreciate if you'll write back to me about your progress. I also have similar heat response for my skin..it gets darker after hot showers. Right now, I'm trying Prayanama (breathing exercises) and they have helped me with regulation of my periods and few other problems but skin is still same. Regards, Preet
Hi Preet, r u an Indian? Please Don't mind my asking this (I am not racist or someting) but i have heard Melasma is more common in Indian skin types, so i just wanted to compare our skin textures.....When did u start doing Pranayams and how worse was your melasma?? I am taking glycolic peels but its not very helpful, it has just made it a little lighter but left scars on my cheeks....Do u see any improvements from Pranayam now....I am 25 yr old unmarried girl and have melasma on my upperlip that looks like a moustache.....I guess it occured due to waxing that area.... Any suggestions?? I ask u since u mentioned u r doing some kinds of researches....
Hi Vedica, Yes, I'm Indian :). I think that waxing can never cause melasma. I've read numerous scientific papers on various skin conditions. It is either hormonal imbalance or something messed up in your gut.
So, for me, I'm first addressing my hormonal issues. My periods used to be after every 37 or 38 days (generally)..which I thought was regular :) but it isn't.
I started doing Prayanama in July. Now, my periods are regular (every 29 days :) and I feel very stress free) but you've to do it
regularly. My melasma has lightened but it hasn't gone away but I feel so good doing yoga that I'm gonna do it everyday for rest of my life :)
Okay, now I'm addressing my gut issues, trying a candida diet..like the grapefruit juice extract (read earlier posts from people trying GSE), because I've taken many strong antibiotics in the past and never thought of taking any probiotics.
I'm writing a grant with a doctor and lets see what happens. We'll submit it next year because right now I'm overwhelmed with my research work..:)
Good Luck and if you want we can exchange emails and try things together?
i have just found out that i have something that is based on this, it is called "wilson's disease" it is something that you inhert from both sides of your family and that have to share that some gene numbers, if you go to that site it would tell you more, and this sounds close to it. this is something you have your whole life and don't realize it until you are in your later years, and it is no fun. i have to be on special diets and have blood taken about every three months, just to make sure you don't have too much copper stored in your liver and other places. i have have to change my life and the way i eat much more healthier and there are things that surprised me too that i should stay away from, mushroom, nuts( they contain about 15% copper), dried fruits, and shellfish and this is just for starters.
i have to watch everything that goes in to my mouth to check out how much copper is in it, or it could mean my life.
i was greatfull to this site for other reason too and have change over to more of the home remedies because it is better and i do enjoy it.. thank for all everyone has done. lois
Hi Preet, thanks for your reply. My periods are very regular, i.e. 29 days cycle. The dark area that i am concerned about is my upperlips. It looks darker after i go out i the sun. Rest though my skin is a little darker in my forehead and side of cheeks, thankgod theres no other sign of melasma..... Thats why i came to conclusion that waxing that area was the poblem and the same thing was said by the people at my skin clinic. I visited a skin doctor here and he told me that this was hyperpigmentation and had no cures and by the time i am 30 i will be patchy and black all over, i was so depressed that i locked myself in my room for next three days.....Thats when i started taking glycolic peels......I had no idea abt prayanams then.... So listening to everything do you have any ideas what might have caused this problem?? Do u avoid sun a lot, or go out comfortably wearing sunscreens?? Have you made any diet changes?? Any other suggestions for me?? I have added my email ID and i would love to share mails with you....
Response to Preet:
I am 28 yr old female. I was reading through your posts and I've also never taken BCPs, nor have I been pregnant. As far as I think, my melasma appeared due to stress. I bought Mama lotion last year and did not use it. Is it still working for you? I'm trying to write a grant for more research on melasma especially for women who have no pregnancy or BCP link. I'm a PhD student in Genetics. I'll appreciate if you'll write back to me about your progress. I also have similar heat response for my skin..it gets darker after hot showers. Right now, I'm trying Prayanama (breathing exercises) and they have helped me with regulation of my periods and few other problems but skin is still same. Regards, Preet"
Preet, sorry for the delay. I'm so happy you have taken this on in your studies. We need more people out there like you. Yes, I am still using mama lotion and my melasma is improving a bit each day. However, I have noticed a day or two before my period, it does get a little darker and my face feels flushed/hot. I will probably be using this lotion for the rest of my life. Although the patch on my forehead seems a bit more stubborn about lightening than my cheeks, nose and upperlip. Just in-case you are wondering, I am half German & half american indian.
(New York, USA)
This is response to Laura from Wichita, KS
Thanks for replying and sorry that my response is so delayed..I'm struck in my prelims for my PhD. I hope that you are improving each and everyday with Mama lotion. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I've been studying Ayurveda out of interest and it says that if you are heat sensitive, you've excess of Pitta (I'm writing it in few lines but I've studied about three books and several papers); so if you think that you feel hot compared to others at a given temperature and have pigmentation problems, you've excess of Pitta..and what you are supposed to do is eat cooling foods (search for Pitta diet on the web and you'll get a list). Also, your liver might be congested (I think there are 95% chances that your is)..mine is for sure..but conventional enzyme tests wouldn't confirm it. just search "excess Pitta" and see if your symptoms are similar. (I've also started using mama lotion on a small spot..will increase slowly :)
(Gas City, IN)
I feel a bit bad for complaining but it's just a suggestion so... When posts or feedback is as long as this post is, perhaps EC can provide a link for those interested.
EC: Yes, good point, sorry about that. Feedback that appears on the Latest Posts page always references the very first email on the topic so it can get confusing. We won't post this particular one on the Latest Posts page from now on.
(Minneapolis, Minnesota, Us)
I like this site. Now I know about copper toxicity syndrome after visiting this site. I have achieved lots of knowledge from this site. I have big brown spots on my cheeks and forehead, I think that is melasma. And I am suffering with acne roseacea. Now I will try some melasma treatments and I will tell if those work.
I've recently noticed (last few years) symmetrical patterns of dark patches on my forehead, nose bridge and cheeks and have done much research and quickly came to the conclusion it is melasma. I've now had it confirmed by three dermatologists in the town I live, two unable to help, one gave me meladerm, which has hydroquinone in along with two other products, retin A and something else I forget. Now in my 3rd month (and last as one can only use it for 2-3 months) it has hardly changed and is still noticeable. I was so hopeful it would work.....I'm depressed with it, fed up and terribly self conscious. I sympathise with everyone of you, it's a hard thing to deal with, although superficial and non life threatening, it still takes it toll on this appearance sensitive life we lead. In my case, being a male, it's not due to copper or BC and I hope GFSE will work. It seems tricky to get hold of, in my experience there are alot of knock offs on the internet and one can't be quite sure of the authenticity of any product these days, and pharmacies and health food stores don't seem to carry it in the UK, particularly locally. Still, I'm going to persevere and try it and post back with findings. Chin up all......
Hi.. don't give up hope.. I got rid of melasma on bridge of my nose.. I would soak the apple cidar vinegar in cotton ball and apply .. then I would apply hydrogen peroxide on and off for days and days.. sometimes I taped the cotton ball to my nose soaked in ACV.. well it did take awhile. Maybe a few months but finally the skin started to peel and peel off into new skin.. most of it is gone but now I have a freckle there but the peeled skin came off and now the melisma is gone.
Your article was a gift to me - meant a lot.
Gave me some insight and understanding about myself and cleared up lots of "unexplained and unsolved mysteries" about my personality.
Thank you so much for the time, energy and detail you expended to create it.
God Bless You.
Treat for Fungal Infection
I developed upperlip melasma 3 years ago and it's now fading using athlete's foot cream on my foot!! I had tried everything and I can't believe it's been a simple fungal infection on my lip! My body was storing too much copper which was causing hyper pigmentation! Any bodily infection can cause melasma so you need to find out what it is and cure it. Remember guys melasma is an internal problem showing on the outside and putting these harsh creams on the area only damages the skin.You have to tackle the problem from within to see results.I'm so excited
I think the fungal theory might very well be true. My doctor made a big mistake called in the wrong prescription for my plant based hormones, It had a really high dose of estrogen ( high estrogen causes skin darkening and progesterone causes skin lightening) which caused a pH change in my uterus, which caused repeated yeast infections, and then BV. Then I noticed I had facial darkening I looked like I had 5 O'clock shadow! Several visits to several doctors with no answers. I began to look at what could of happen to trigger all of this I called the pharmacy and asked them to tell me what hormones I was on a year earlier and I figured out the mistake pretty fast. I immediately stopped my plant based hormones got a new doctor and I was put back on my original plant based hormones from a year earlier the doctor increased progesterone slightly since it would lighten and brighten my skin my skin began to lighten pretty fast. I also did the stopped staying up late, stopped eating almonds which I ate daily.
I began taking MSM, Vitamin C, glutathione, Niacinamide is B-3, zinc, folic acid, and licorice extract and used a niacinamide based cream on my face which is deadly to fungus! I went on the anti-candida diet and took a natural anti-fungal, used a yeast arrest suppository that had probiotics in it for one month. I think for me it was both hormones and fungal. Happy to say I'm cured of Melasma.
This post has not been active since February so there is less chance that the poster will answer.
There are multiple antifungal creams available with multiple active antifungal ingredients. I think the active ingredient you are looking for is Clotrimazole as that is the active component in antifungal creams that also inhibits melanogenesis.
Here is a link to typical otc Clotrimazole products :
Good luck and please let us know how this works for your melasma.
Vegetarian Diet, Beets
I have written before because I found out I had a parasite infection in my head in Aug of 2008. At that time I cut out sugar and by April of 2009 I stopped eating meat as well and became a strict vegetarian out of desperation to get rid of this problem. Some of the remedies I tried caused other problems as well.
I was trying a sea salt remedy which was working quite well until I substituted sea salt with excessive amounts of these over the counter salt pills which I now understand this type of salt just kills your cells causing you to look older. I tried MMS (miracle mineral supplement), which seemed to work but they only grow back and I have heard it is a pool cleaner or something and I don't recommend it any longer. Any use of drugs for the problem also had devastating side effects such as hair loss and worsening of the condition.
Before all this all of my life I was a heavy meat eater and always looked young for my age. I am a type O blood so I don't know if that really means I must eat meat to be healthy but that is what I read. But after coming down with several parasite infections, one from a restaurant and contamination from trying on a wig at a beauty store I come down with this horrible infection so I want to be vegetarian at least until I am fully cured if not for life.
However the worst thing that has come from vegetarianism has been the development of melasma over my lip and cheeks and blotchy skin. A couple years ago prior to becoming a vegetarian I had blotches on my face (not as bad as now or with it over my lip) and from your site and other research I found out it was from a copper overload because I was taking all this excess chlorophyll and green supplements. It all disappeared when I did Teds remedy for Candida where you take the stuff for chelating plus I was doing oil pulling at the time. My face cleared up beautifully but I had no idea it was melasma.
After becoming vegetarian in 4/09 not knowing what to eat or liking vegetables all that much I ate a lot of nuts and green stuff which contributed to skin blotchiness again due to the high copper but still not over my lip. Then, to make matters worse in Oct of 2009 I tried the mini beet program and about 2 weeks into it I noticed for the first time in my life a dark discoloration over the top of my lip which was horrifying and ugly.
After listening to the promoter talk about the mini beet program I heard him say that the beets release estrogen and I later read that the release of excess estrogen is usually what causes the melasma over the top of the lip. I don't blame the mini beet program but feel the vegetarianism had made it easier. So at least I understand it.
I am so devastated and feel very self- conscious and ugly now. I have had some terrible experiences because people have noticed the difference in my looks and can be so cruel and shallow.
Vitamins, Prescription Cream
Melasma cure- Vitamins, hydroquinone 4%
ok, I see that as a success story and want to share, but the problem is I cannot pin down what I did contributed to the success, it could be a combination as well. So I will give you all the details and you can decide, or try and see.
I had an IPL treatment hoping to take care of some sun spot, and it lifted a few big patches of dark on both cheeks and forehead. The IPL was done early September. It did remove some tiny sun spots, but wheh you have melasma it's a totally different game. Anyway, I just left it and hopefully it will go away but it did not. Some people said it's the post treatment healing which can take 3 months to 1 year. Anyway by end of Oct (which was 2 months after the treatment) that was no improvement whatsoever. Also in mid Oct I visited this site and started taking a whole bunch of supplements, Vitamin C, E, grapefruit seed extract, zinc etc, for either increase antioxident or balance the copper, which was said being the cause of melasma. Anyhow I still didn't see any improvement until in Novemebr I started a diet that cut out dairy, greatly reduce meat intake, lots of avocado, papaya, lemon, lime, some flexseed etc. One of the key is to reduce the acidity of the body. That seems to take effect pretty fast, I started seeing white patches breaking the dark patches. It goes on for 2 weeks and because I am impatient, I started to use a cream of hydroquinone 4% (tried 2% previously did not work for me), which does NOT require a prescription in Canada, but do in the US. I know the cream doesn't really fall into natural rememdy category, but it does almost totally clear up my patches. The original melasma spots at the corner of my eyes are almost all gone as well. SO whatever it is, it could be just that the IPL injury was healing, or it's the vitamins, or it's the diet, or it's the cream. I am just happy to have clearer skin again. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
EC: Warning! Hydroquinone is already banned in many countries (the EU, Japan, South Africa and Australia) as studies have shown that it can cause leukemia in rats!
I'd like to ask E. Chou about how long and how often(morning,evening,etc.)uses this cream of hydroquinone.It's also very important to me to know if you go outside during the time of using the cream (which means a week, maybe more staying home).
***, another cream of hydroquinone, is my last hope for noticeble results. Everything I've been trying for 10 years failed, including expensive creams prescribed by doctors,going to beauticians. A month ago I started on my cream of hq but something went wrong. After the first peeling my face looked about 80% lighter, was so happy and kept on with it. Another succesfull peeling-things seemed to be perfect in only 2 weeks time(!) and then,I don't know why,my spots became brown again.I applyied this cream every night and always used sunscreen when going out.Trying to find why this reverse occured :(
I don't know if I have high level of copper, but what I am sure of is that my melasma started in a moment of extreme stress. I also have anemia and am prescribed folic acid. Trying lots of homemade masks-milk,lemon etc. No results for now. Thanks and good luck to all!
I am a 41 year old female with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation on my forehead, cheeks and chin as a result of Fraxel laser treatment. As you might imagine I am heartbroken to find that a treatment option I paid over $5K for which was intended to improve my skin textire and tone has resulted instead in this brown spotty nightmare! Its been 3 years since I've had the fraxel and like many of you I've tried everything from hydroquinone, to kojic acid to peels - nothing's worked. Your posts have given me great hope that there is a cure in nature and that eventually we will find what works for each of us. With that goal in mind I have just started the following regimen and though I'd share:
- Pycnoginol - 3 times daily
- MSM - 3 times daily
- Ultimate Flora Probiotics - 3 times daily
- Pomegranate Extract - 2 times daily
- Vitamin C, Vitamin E with Selenium, Beta Carotene, Zinc, Magnesium and Omega 3-6-9 once daily
In addition I am using apple cider vinegar twice daily as a toner and a papaya enzyme exfoliating mask once a week. I have just started this regimen 3 days ago and am happy to report that already my husband and I notice a difference - my dark spots are lighter and appear to be breaking up! I am so excited I just had to share!! I will keep you updated on my results as I go along. Thank you all for your wonderful insight and encouragement and good luck!
Hi there, great ideas here for clearing up melasma which I've been battling with for a long time.
Just wanted to clarify, Hydroquinone is not banned in Australia. You can get it over the counter at the chemist/pharmacy or high dosages of it with a prescription.
I'm currently on it myself. I have seen results but then it comes back again. And yes, there are risks associated with it too.
My dermatologist says that UV light is the main culprit, - I've found if I miss putting on sunscreen once (eg. putting it on in the morning on a cloudy Melbourne day then forgetting to put it on in the afternoon) my melasma gets worse. However, there is a question as to whether light in general (eg. from lightglobes) is also a culprit. Which would be pretty frustrating if true! 'Coz wandering around in a balaclava is not something I can really get away with most days.....
As already mentioned here, the dermatologist said that friction is also a cause of it, elsewhere mentioned here. So DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE! I touch my face all the time so I'm sure this has contributed.
And when using HQ it makes my skin peel so I'm not even supposed to touch my face to get it off so that's just as unsightly as the melasma. So I'm pretty much still a melasma mess. : (
Thanks for all the advice, I think that HQ is not a long term solution so will give the supplements another go. And that fungal infection cream, as there's a browny grey patch around my mouth and chin that looks horrid and makeup seems to just draw attention to it. Just hard to figure out what works and what doesn't.
Good luck everybody!
Boo I went back to read how others dealt with this, as I do not have expeience with it. I found this post. We have used tannic acid for many things. It is effective in many therapies. Janet
My doctor said, if you have fungus on your skin then you have it in your body. I went on a anti-fungal diet, basically no sugar, no grains, no dairy. All organic, non Gmo food. I take selenium, zinc. niacinamide, the GSE the one that is used for external, and high does of lyposomal vitamin C all of these are anti-fungal .
Another great anti-fungal so is coconut oil if kills the biofilm and kills the fungus. A friend came back third world country with some skin fungus so the doctor told her to use Selsun Blue and leave it on the skin for like an hour a day then rinse it off and I think she did this for few days I can't recall the number of days. Selsun blue is selenium sulfide it kills fungus Selsun blue is very strong smelling I put it in zip lock plastic bag but it works. Be sure to avoid around your eyes.
OMG, I just saw this post. I literally got Melasma after fraxel (laser skin resurfacing) and it ruined my skin. I am so heartbroken becasue the day I went for my fraxel, my niece said your skin looks so beautiful why are you getting fraxel? I am hopeful I will be able treat my damage. I am reading like crazy and coming up with an action plan. I will kick this pigmentation off my face.
I have discovered that a website advertised on this site is a SCAM!!! Melseton.com is FAKE ...it does not cure melasma and is listed on multiple scam websites.
Unfortunately I found out too late - I am amazed that it is allowed to advertise on this site??
EC: Thanks for letting us know. We have no idea which Google ads are displayed on our website as thousands of them cycle through and disappear. We can, however, ban a company when someone sends us a website address (url) like you have. In a few minutes, you won't be seeing that company advertising on EC!
Update: Not only has melseton.com been banned, but all of the websites listed on this forum have been banned too.
White Vinegar, Raw Potato Juice, Vitamin E
I Read these postings after returning from my honeymoon in a tropical location with horribly embarrassing hyperpigmentation all over my face. I didn't know what happened. I'd had small areas in the past and I had been prescribed a compounded strength of hydroquinone of 10% to decrease them for my wedding. It was horrible!!! Areas that had never been affected were. I had almost black blotches covering my entire cheeks, upper lip and bridge of my nose. In the past I only had one small spot on my upper left check bone that was maybe 2 shades darker than my natural complexion. I am olive skinned and I didn't know what to do. I went on the web and read that I suffered exactly what I should be expected. Reading further I discovered all of the other horror associated with hq. I then set on my pursuit of remedies and found something that has absolutely worked wonders for me. Here is what worked for me:
First - cleanse face with equal water and white vinegar. Apply to face and let set for 1-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water. Do this only once a day for two - three days in a row (note the face may become red and even slightly irritated from this treatment. If it does, discontinue this treatment).
Second - take raw potato juice and apply it to the skin. Let is set for 20 minutes then rinse with water.
Final - Massage a few drops of vitamin E over pigmented areas.
You will see results first day. Good luck. I look forward to hear your results!
I've been meaning to post about melasma for awhile now, and your post reminded me to do it. Melasma can be a sign of a copper overload. I had melasma on my forehead and jaws until I added 50mg/day of Zinc Picolinate to my diet. After I did that the melasma faded away. For me, it was a completely unexpected result, but since Zinc balances Copper, my result leads me to conclude that I was too high in Copper. I had the melasma at the same time I was hypothyroid, hypoadrenal and estrogen over-loaded, all of which can lead to a build-up of Copper in the body (as I now know).
EC: Kathy is referring to the following post on the mole remedies page:
10/01/2009: Vernetta from Tampa, Fl writes: "I stumbled upon this website by accident about 6 months ago. I have tried several of the suggestions mentioned for different ailments and they have all worked. I tried the remedy for mole removal using organic apple cider vinegar from the health food store. I had this ugly mole on my neck and I must say that after soaking a cotton ball and applying it to the mole at night for 5 days, securing it with a bandaid, I am mole free. Thank you so much for that helpful suggestion. I have also been using the organic apple cider vinegar on my melasma (face) applying it directly on the skin using a cotton ball and it has lighten the areas on my cheeks and forehead. I think in a few months the melasma will have faded completely."
My melasma started very slowly about 5 or 6 years ago on my upper lip, it was worse in the summer. About 3 years ago it started get fairly bad so I went off the pill and it lightened up somewhat and could be masked with makeup. Then I got pregnant and it got even worse, my daughter is almost 2 now and my melasma is the worst it has ever been. It is summer now so obviously the sun is making it much worse, I wear 60 uva/uvb sunscreen and wear a hat but it isn't helping much.
I have done loads of reading about melasma and I think it is obviously related to hormones and genetics but I also think it is fungas related as well. I do not get yeast infections very often, like 2 in the last 3 years. but I have been getting this foot fungas on and off for a few years now, it is called Pitted keratolysis. Does anyone else who has melasma have any other signs of bacterial or fungal growth on their bodies?
I have asked my doctor many times about my melasma and he said "you have to live with it, your a pretty woman and if thats your biggest problem - oh well! " This is not something I am willing to live with, it has greatly affected my confidence and I don't go out with my friends as much because I am embarrassed. I wear makeup but it makes me feel worse because the melasma is still visible and it honestly doesn't look much better with makeup.
Several months ago I came across a site called abc homeopathy and found similar stories as the ones on this site. I tried msm but only lasted a few days on it as it caused severe headaches. I have been reading everyones posts and feel hopefull that something will work for me. I went out and bought GRAPEFRUIT seed extract today and just started. I will also use apple cider vinegar day and night on my skin.
I am going to stick to a regime and track my progress so I can share with all of you. wish you all luck and thank you for sharing your stories, it is comforting to know I am not alone and that their are other people out there looking for a cure.