I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned it before but I have a type of hyperpigmentation on my face called Melasma. It has taken me a very long time to understand what it is and why it surfaced. At this point, I am trying to understand what it’ll take to reverse it. This is one reason why I am so big on skin care. My hopes of reversing this problem may help someone else who is suffering from it and didn’t know it, just like I didn’t.
Roughly ten years ago, I got pregnant with my son and began to experience a severe hormonal imbalance. I was diagnosed with Hyper Thyroidism, Anemia because of Iron deficiency and had to be put on a High Fiber Diet eventually so that I could keep food in my system long enough for the baby keep healthy until I had him. A week or two after my delivery, I began taking propylthiouracil and iron pills.
My skin became extremely dry all over from my scalp, to my armpits, down to my feet. It had gotten to the point where my skin would flake so bad that I would see the dead skin flake off on dark clothing when I got undressed. My skin became very sensitive and I had to switch my detergents and soaps to ones with no fragrances and extra ingredients. I slept fully clothed for a months straight so that the dead skin would not wind up all over the bed sheets.
It was one of the most embarrassing experiences that I had ever been through. I even stopped shopping for clothing in store to avoid trying clothes on and transferring dead skin to other people. I knew that my skin issue weren’t contagious and that I take baths regularly but it was just a nasty thing in my mind. My skin was almost shell-like and felt like it was on fire some days especially during 80-90 degree weather here in Houston.
I was never given an in-depth explanation on how Propylthiouracil works, by the doctor, or what the side effects would be from taking it. Since this was a doctor, I just did what she said hoping that my skin would just get better. Although I know it was not her fault, I have suffered from dry skin, dark spots, mood swings, tiredness and sensitivity to the heat/sun for years since then. What made it worse was that I took on a career in the transportation industry that required me to be in direct sunlight on the regular, which added insult to injury.
*This is an example of what Melasma looks like. This is not an actual picture of me.
About 5 years ago, I got a really bad sun tan over the summer. I had to slather on aloe vera for weeks to get some type of relief. The tan took around a year and a half to completely go away but when it did, I was left with 3-4 different colored patches and patterns on my skin. Some were darker than my original complexion and the rest were lighter. Everyone I knew asked questions about my skin change. I just began telling people that I was part giraffe so they’d laugh because I had no clue what was going on with my skin.
At this point I remember being so fed up with the way I looked that I started researching Hyper Thyriodism, its side effects, the medications and why the skin change happened after pregnancy. I also found out that the birth control that I was on at the time, Nexplanon, could also be contributing to my hormonal imbalance. Soon after, I stopped taking the meds and let the birth control wear off. My skin stopped being as dry and the spots started going away on their own.
About a years and a half ago, I began a journey in the beauty industry and made a pact with myself that I would research and find a way to educate others about the problem. A lot of doctor forums that I have read claim to not know the direct cause of Melasma or “the pregnancy mask” beyond the contributions to hormonal imbalances. I think it’s important to know that it directly linked to thyroid and liver problems. After talking to skin specialists, I was encouraged to try clearing it up from the inside out instead of using topical substances only.
Here are some of the products currently in regimen:
- Urban Rx Even Tone Support Supplements
These supplements have key ingredients L-Glutathione, Vitamin C, and Amino Acids in them. All of these ingredients help even the skin tone. These are available on their website, urbanskinrx.com and at Target for $25.
2. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
This is a rice powder based product geared toward lifting dead skin cells from the skin to help brighten at the surface. The key ingredients here are Papin, Salycilic Acid and Rice Enzymes for $57 in the full size 2.6 oz bottle and $15 for a mini size at .45oz. You can get many uses from the mini size if you want to try it out first.
3. Formula 10.0.6 Get Your Glow On Skin Brightening Peel Mask
I am totally crazy about this brand! I have been stuck on this peel mask for months now. It continues to give me a great glow. In combination with the other products that I mentioned above it really does the trick for giving a fresh glow feel. It is available at some Target locations, Ulta Beauty and of course at Formula 10.0.6’s online site for $6.99.
The rest of my routine is pretty simple just a wash and moisturize and the occasional night mask. I will be back with before and after photos with an update on results soon.