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pregnacy Mask Melasma) PLease Help

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teacher115
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Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:50 am      Reply with quote
Hello all,

My question is how do I get rid of this mask (Melasma) on my face. It is sooo ugly. I have tried obagi and it did not work. I wear sunscreen and I stay out of the sun but I still have it. My son is almost 3, it did not dissappear after I gave birth. Thanks for any help possible.
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Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:45 pm      Reply with quote
Sounds like you developed chloasma/melasma - brought about by a number of things, like pregnancy, Birth Control Pills, hormones, etc.

I know it's an extremely annoying problem, as I developed it as well.

I believe mine came from a surge of hormones as I neared 40. I had been getting weird periods, then spent the summer in the sun and by the fall I had developed melasma on both cheeks that just seemed to spread. Very distressing. I never developed it when I was pregnant, nor have I ever been on birth control pills, so go figure?

That being said, and if you've cleared it with your derm that it is indeed melasma you have, there are a number of ways to try and lighten it somewhat.....it seems that the most prescribed rx by the derms is Triluma which is a combo of Retin A/Hydroquinone/and a steroid, I believe. It seems that there is a hugely varied diff. of opinion on Hydroquinone in that it is banned in some countries for possible terrible side effects - however many derms in the US are still quick to write out an RX for it.....

Other lighteners you may want to consider -
Kojic Acid, Azaelic Acid, Mandelic Acid, or products with a combo of them included. Also, a good Vitamin C serum may help to even out your skintone as well. Gentle exfoliation too.

I would advise against trying laser or IPL only b/c of what I've read on the skincarerx melasma board - All of the ladies who have tried it have had initial great results only to have their melasma return full force and sometimes worse after a period of a few weeks. If you do visit the skincarerx board, you will meet many, many other women who have melasma and you can read about the various things that they've tried. Some choose to do nothing but try to camoflauge it with makeup, some have tried many topicals (myself included), some have gone the internal route - which is probably ultimately the culprit, by taking high doses of MSM, which is actually a supplement for joints, but has been successful in helping melasma. You have to be careful with MSM though, b/c if you take too much too fast you can have nasty side effects, like heart palpitations, headaches, diarhea, abnormallly heavy periods, etc. Others have tried internal cleanses and natural herbs and such to help them.

As for me....the ONLY product that helped reduce my melasma was Cosmelan. It is expensive, for sure, but it was a self-esteem saver for me. Cosmelan 1 (the mask) can be done in the derm's office, then you go to Cosmelan 2 for maintenance. I did not have the mask done -just did the Cosmelan 2, and on about day 14, I couldn't believe but I actually saw a difference. I still have the original jar I ordered last summer. I use very little after the initial protocol of twice a day for two weeks, then once a day, the a couple of times a week.

Whichever you choose, please take my advice and be gentle with your skin. After trying so many topicals, my once very nice skin took a beating! I try to be really gentle with it now. The O2 Rescue Serum from PureSkinFormulations really kept the irritation at bay when I was on the C2 protocol.

Hope this has helped some.


Maria

P.S. Of course, the most important thing - when using lightening topicals, and even when not, use sunscreen. The ladies on this board are much better at sunscreen choices than I. I use Skinceuticals 30SPF which is very nice, not greasy. But lots of ladies swear by the Euro sunscreens which I guess have ingredients that the US hasn't jumped on board with. (We're soooo dang slow!)

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Maria, 40-something, normal to dry skin, more dry in winter, some sun damage...
donnababe
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Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:07 pm      Reply with quote
Sounds like your hormones caused this but the UVA rays from the sun "feed" it. Your first defense would be a s/s that blocks UVA rays. For US s/s it would be a physical s/s. (European s/s are much better)

Another thing you can try is a laser in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. If you can find a laser surgeon that would be great! Ruby lasers are good for brown spots. IPL would, most likely, be unsucessful.
I'm Kiki
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Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:17 pm      Reply with quote
Every time I went on the pill, I got the mask ***shudder*** When I went off it went away, altho it did take a bit of time...
CyndiK.
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Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:26 pm      Reply with quote
Tri-Luma cream was the answer for me for my melasma. My dermatologist recommended it and it worked quickly. Melasma forced me to finally get serious about the sunscreen and wearing hats. I own MANY wide brimmed hats now. If I get "caught" out in the sun w/out protection I see a difference w/ my melasma immediately...and I get the cream out again. It made a huge difference in the severity of my patches on my top lip (the worst for me) and over my brows. My dark spots did not completely go away...but they improved dramatically. I can cover them w/ lite makeup easily and I go w/out makeup often. Tri-Luma does not work on sun spots or dark spots from scars...my Dr. told me this but I tried anyway and found this true.

TriLuma is not covered on my insurance but worth the price @ around $60 (co-pays have spoiled me). I used the $25 rebate found at TriLuma.com w/ my first prescription. I so hope this may be an answer for you or anyone else out there.


Cyndi K.
blond / medium-fair / green eyes / 40
betterat40
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Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:06 pm      Reply with quote
I did the hydroquinone/retin-a routine but it did not work for me at all. The only thing that has worked is:

1. No birth control pills.
2. C serum and a stable sunscreen (like LaRoche Posay Dermo-Pediatrics or the new Neutrogena spf 55)EVERY morning and anytime I'm in the sun.
3. Retin-A alternated with a good AHA product each night.

It took about 8 weeks but this worked. I personally feel that the vitamin C serum was the thing that really made the change. C limits melanocyte production so you can't make the dark patches.

Popular C brands here are Vivier, skinceuticals, PSF, AlphaDerma and Cellular Skin Rx.

Good luck! It's a very frustrating problem to have.
joky
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Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:11 am      Reply with quote
Hi All~

I'm on my second week of Cosmelan treatment. I had the mask applied at a derms office and now I'm on the 2x a day comelan 2...IT'S WONDERFUL!!! I have little to no melsma left and I'm not done with the treatment. The only side effect to this treatment is cost, however, it's well worth it. I had very severe melsma, almost my whole face was effected so this is a big deal for me to see a clear complexion...not only that my skin looks so nice and healthy!! I will post more info if anyone is interested...just let me know Smile Take care!
CyndiK.
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Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:22 am      Reply with quote
FABulous! Yeah!

Do you mind disclosing the price? You can pm if you prefer...
joky
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Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:59 am      Reply with quote
Not at all, it differs by area. I'm in northern KY and I paid $500 which covored the mask, a bottle of cosmelan 2 and the hydra K for moisture treatment. I did a lot of research prior to using and I know on the west coast you will pay close to $850. I can tell you it was well worth it. I've battled this for 9 years and used everything on the market including IPL and the only thing that truly worked is the cosmelan. I'm happy with the look of my skin as well as the healthy glow I have. I took step by step pictures and would be happy to share on a private email account Smile Just let me know, I would love to help others get rid of this problem once and for all.
ellyp
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Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:46 pm      Reply with quote
Can you use Cosmelan while breastfeeding?
Jax
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Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:19 pm      Reply with quote
Can anyone post the ingredients in Cosmelan?
TIA
betterat40
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Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:48 pm      Reply with quote
Just a note: I read something today that said that hormonally-caused darkening was called chloasma and sun damage caused darkening is called melasma. Don't know if googling chloasma might help you more since sounds like yours is totally hormonally caused.

Regardless of the cause, for me, only combo of products that made a diff. was C serum and sunscreen each AM (CellularSkinRx and LRP Dermo-Peds are my favs)and Retin-A/10%AHA alternated each PM. I also did a stronger AHA or TCA peel about once each month and used hydroquinone for about three months. (Though I really didn't see any diff. from using HQ.)

Hope that has helped some....
Verdigris
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Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:45 am      Reply with quote
I was under the impression that chloasma and melasma were the same thing.
http://www.dermnetnz.org/colour/melasma.html

I also suffer from it, and am trying to figure out what to do. All the posts have been very helpful, thank you to everyone who has posted.
secretsbeauty
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Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:20 pm      Reply with quote
Hi,

For Jax:
The ingredients for cosmelan mask are:
Aqua, Titanium Dioxide, Octyl Mthoxycinnamate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Phytic Acid, Edta, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Ceteareth-12, Parfum, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinnone.

The ingredients for cosmelan 2 are:
Aqua, Titanium Dioxide, Octyl methoxycinnamate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Kojic Acid, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Phytic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Ceteareth-12, Parfum, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinnone.


For Ellyp:
Can be used by who is breastfeeding.
Cannot be used by under 12 years old. Cannot be in contact with eyes and mouth.
So if you have hyperpigmentation under the eyes, I'd better use Radiance Eyelift, that also has Phytic Acid for pigmentation.
Hope this helps.

I also suffered melasma for a number of various factors all together, I think: hormonal unbalance, birth control pill and on top of it pregnancy. I've always have been very strict on my skin health daily regime, however no product seemed to make a difference that... would make a difference !
Until I did the cosmelan pack. As maintenance, cosmelan 2. I didn't have to burn myself in a tca peel, or (that's what I was more afraid of) worsen my melasma or end up with burnt scars or spots from these harsh tca peels. I've seen recently a photo from a girl that did a tca peel. But she was burnt so badly on the cheeks, that afterwards they turned completely dark brown. I'm more for a treatment that requires time and patiente, than one shock treatments. I believe more in a treatment that takes a year to make disappear spots that have been ther forever. Than one that you just do a peel one day and then it will be over. I think we need to give some time for our body to respond and recover, renew... you know...

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Christina
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:53 am      Reply with quote
I'm Kiki wrote:
Every time I went on the pill, I got the mask ***shudder*** When I went off it went away, altho it did take a bit of time...


About how long did it take to go away? I've been off the pill for about 4-5 months now and mine is still hanging around. Sad
skin adict2
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Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:52 pm      Reply with quote
I have dermal melasma with very sensitive Asian skin so Triluma and Cosmelan just made it darker because it was too aggressive and caused my skin to get red, which then turned brown.

Since mine's internal from birth control, I take MSM supplements. At first I had the upper lip hyperpigmentation which was traumatic to say the least. Must've spent around $5,000 on topicals and treatments to no avail (tried everything!). Mega dosing the MSM made it break up and go away in a few months. I occasionally develop smudges elsewhere on my face but it's lighter and hasn't returned on my upper lip (knock on wood).

I've always been a sunblock and hat fanatic so I wear chemical-free products and often layer to get optimal effect (usually comes out to spf 60-80).
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:20 am      Reply with quote
I have been off the pill for almost 10 months. Its gotten lighter but its still there. Around my eyes, forehead and upper lip (it looks like I have a mustache). I have tried Bliss liver spot removal, as well as the sleeping peel, as well some organic brown stuff I bought online, emu oil, and nothing is doing anything. I exfoliate every week, as well as do dermabrasion, and nothing works.

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Sangria1269
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:22 am      Reply with quote
Yes! please post pictures of the process, that way we know if its worth the price! I would love to get rid of this, as I feel my face is covered in poop stains.

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mid twenties, combination fair tough skin, light eyes, dark brown hair.
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Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:38 am      Reply with quote
The following link which gives very useful information and rcommendations about this condition. Hope this is helpful.

http://www.emedicine.com/DERM/topic260.htm

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