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If You Can’t Get Rid of It, Make Melasma Less Noticeable

Posted by Jennifer Shipp | Apr 27, 2013


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Melasma as a Hormone-, Diet-, and Parasite-Related Issue

Melasma is one of those problems that doctors can’t explain. Similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or fibromyalgia, when brown spots inexplicably take up residence on a woman’s face, medical professionals don’t know what to say. Some doctors might claim that its sun damage or merely genetics. Others don’t venture a guess as to the cause but hand out free samples of hydroquinone cream that will most certainly turn your skin blue and make it “hard” to the touch (seriously…don’t use that stuff).

I’ve read many theories in melasma forum discussions including those that cite poor liver function or yeast overgrowth. I’ve even tried remedies that were based off of hopeful discussions that I saw online including taking large doses of MSM daily and three glasses per day of water spiked with prolific quantities of Grape Fruit Seed Extract. Some women have noted a connection between copper and estrogen and for a while I actively avoided anything with extra copper in it (including chocolate). The connection between melasma and hormones seemed viable and I even tried using progesterone skin cream briefly in an effort to create balance. Though I don’t doubt that some women had success with these remedies, I’ve seen few results from them.

On the other hand though, I did recently discover that I have an infestation of parasites feeding off my intestinal wall. After several weeks of anemia, I finally started realizing what the problem was and started taking a wormwood concoction as a parasite cleanse. At the time of this writing, I can't say that my melasma has changed very much, but one thing did occur to me that gives me hope. A lot of the women who reported getting rid of melasma were doing a cleanse with Grape Fruit Seed Extract. Grape Fruit Seed Extract would also help eliminate intestinal parasites. It would also likely help correct a vitamin B17 deficiency. If you have a parasitic infection in your intestines (and a LOT of people do, even though they don't know it), it stands to reason that after you get rid of parasites, your skin will look better in some way.

When I first developed melasma, it began on my upper lip and I was terrified by it. I stayed out of the sun and switched to natural cosmetics that didn’t contain so many xenoestrogens. I wondered how bad it would get. It then spread to the area between my eyebrows, perhaps the most noticeable part of my face. Then, I started noticing patches on my cheeks. Slowly, I began to grow accustomed to seeing it on my face and I realized that I probably needed to accept my new look. Instead of trying to get rid of it, I decided that I probably just needed higher quality make-up to cover it up. I decided that having melasma was tolerable. It was perhaps less noticeable and less painful than acne and certainly easier to deal with than psoriasis or eczema.

I’ve had the problem for about 3 years now at the time of this writing and I’ve spent countless hours and a lot of money trying to get rid of it. Lately, I’ve made peace with the problem and I’m observing it with more objectivity perhaps because I’ve come up with some ways to hide it (Au Naturale make-up works really well— and make it less noticeable. I also have a lot of hope that it will go away someday on account of the fact that my brown spots “move”.

About five years ago I became a vegetarian. Slowly over time, I changed to a vegan diet. I started writing for a company that works with bioidentical hormones at the same time and suddenly realized that my melasma occurred within about a year after I stopped eating meat. My husband came down with a killer sinus infection around this same time and after several courses of antibiotics he went to the acupuncturist who told him he needed to start eating meat in order to regain the health of his respiratory tract. We decided to change our diets together.

About a week later, the melasma on my forehead just went away. I was thoroughly amazed and very hopeful. I ate chicken every day religiously, but the rest of the brown spots held on. I began inspecting the little specks more closely though and I noticed that they were worse during high hormone peaks (ovulation and menstruation) and lighter and less noticeable when my hormones ebb. I also started to realize that the spots would “move” into a slightly different position over the course of time. And the skin overlying the melasma was often very dry and flaky. Often, it would seem as though I could just peel the brown stuff off, but underneath was always a layer of skin that was still darkly pigmented.

(See this article on vitamin B12 deficiency - what EVERY American needs to know about this essential vitamin)

I went to a medical intuitive several years ago who told me to take moderately coarse corn meal and scrub it on my face. “Scrub vigorously.” she said, “Do it several times a day if you can.” To me, this seemed like a piece of advice that I might read about in a book for teens called, Every Girl and Her Skin. I liked the sophisticated chemical-laden remedies in pretty packaging that promised to expertly remove wrinkles and age spots. “Buy some brewer’s yeast, lemon juice, and yogurt and use them as a mask every day.” Again, I was disenchanted with the simplicity of the advice, but decided to try it anyway. The medical intuitive told me that it might take years, but that she used to have a giant scar on her face from having been charged by a bull. I looked closely and I could see only a dim line on her cheek leftover from the ordeal.

“How old are you?” I asked. She looked just a few years older than me…perhaps early forties.

“I’m 52.” She said. That sold me. I wanted to look like her when I was in my fifties.

The brewer’s yeast contains a lot of B-vitamins and the yogurt contains acidophilus bacteria that can kill yeast and keep it under control. Lemon juice helps to bleach the skin very gently. I challenge women with melasma to scrub their faces with corn meal, use lemon juice as an astringent, and then choose brewer’s yeast, or yogurt as a “mask” to wear for 20 minutes. The results are really pretty amazing. The dry flakiness associated with brown spots is gone and so are a lot of my wrinkles. The yogurt and brewer’s yeast soften my skin. I have mixed feelings about the lemon juice, but I’m going to give it some time and see what happens. Sometimes I smear strawberries on my face too because they have the exact pH of the skin on the face. As cheesy as these at-home remedies seem, they’re affordable and they do make a difference in how my melasma looks. It’s a lot easier to cover up the spots when they’re smooth rather than flaky.

I'm hopeful that after doing this parasite cleanse, my melasma will clear up, but I suspect that it will take some time. For more information on the parasite cleanse that I'm doing visit my article Treatment of Parasites for Humans.

In summary, though I haven’t figured out my personal cure yet, I believe there is one. Indeed, I believe there is a “personal” cure for all women who have melasma. I’m not sure if there’s a cure-all, but I recommend sticking to natural methods rather than using lasers or other treatments. These things can go really awry (are you willing to risk the possibility of ending up with even darker splotches) and frankly, melasma just isn’t that hard to cover-up if you have the right make-up products.

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