Any MEN with melasma?
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Thread: Any MEN with melasma?

  1. #1

    Any MEN with melasma?

    Are there any men here with melasma? I realise it's predominantly a female problem, but I am a male and have it. I have dark patches above my eyebrows (similar size to eybrows but a bit thicker) and around the side of my eyes.

    Would be interesting to know of any men who suffer with this and what (if any) solutions they've found. Not sure if technically it makes a difference if a man or woman has it, and if it's all caused by the same thing.

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  3. #2
    Hi Atoms. I come across this forum 2 days ago, and found it very helpful. I am 37, Asian. I have 4 infected areas on my face, one on each side of my cheeks, one on my chin, and a small spot on my eyelid.

    I am not sure what is the underneath cause of my Melasma. My first patch started on my chin about 4 years ago. It started as a small brown spot. I went to see a dermatology, and he gave me Lustra (a bleaching agent) to apply on. After a few uses, I had an inflammation on the area that I applied Lustra on. Probably because my skin is allergic to Lustra. The inflamed area turned into dark brown, and the skin is damaged. I have scars on the inflamed area.

    My last 3 patches (cheeks, and eyelid) are recent. I had them about a year. Probably triggered by the sun, I went jogging without putting enough sunscreen on. Same as the first patch on my chin, the recent ones also started with inflammation. After the inflammation it turned into dark brown and scarred.

    I didn't know it is Melasma until I went to see a second dermatologist about the recent patches. The first dermatologist took a biopsy of the inflamed area and found nothing suspicious, so he assumed the inflammation was cause by the Lustra. He told me that it is normal to have scar and skin discoloration after an inflammation. Since I can't use bleaching agent for the discoloration, he simply advised me to use sunscreen, and hopes the discoloration would fades away with time. In the meantime while waiting for it to fade, I had tried Glycolic peel, laser treatment, none of them works. After 4 years, the discoloration not only didn't fades, it has gotten larger and darker.

    About month ago, I went to see another dermatologist for my recent patches. She gave me hydroquinone (HQ) for treatment. I have been applying it on the affected areas twice daily -- morning and before bed. After a month, other than redness , I didn't see any significant improvement, but I do notice some areas are lighter. Supposedly, I should continue to use HQ for another 3 months before I see my dermatologist again, so hopefully I will see more improvements by then.

    Would be appreciated if you can also share some of your experience with Melasma, such as how it started and treatments you have used.


  4. #3
    SCT Elite endt91's Avatar
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    Hey Joe1618:

    Lustra is actually a brand name of HQ at 4%. So really, you're performing the same treatment that you did before. Perhaps you actually had an allergic reaction to one of the other ingredients in Lustra since apparently, you're now using HQ without an problems other than a little redness. I'm not sure what your derma told you, but next time you go you should ask her about using an exfoliant with HQ as exfoliants aid in penetration of topical treatments. It'll help that HQ get absorbed a bit better to help inhibit that excess melanin production.

    As always, wear a good sunscreen because HQ will make your skin even more sensitive to pigmenting than it was before.

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  6. #4
    Hi endt91, Thank you for your comment. I really didn't know Lustra is another brand of HQ. No, I didn't get any allergic reaction this time, even I use HQ on the same area. So, my first inflammation was probably caused by other factor.

    Do you have Melasma also? If so, can you share some of your experience with Melasma, and treatment that works and not?

  7. #5
    I heard lots of bad reports about HQ so have never tried it. I read reports (mostly from women) that it actually made their melasma worse. Laser treatments are also said to be ineffective and particularly bad at makings things worse, so I'd never try that unless i knew for certain it would work.

    I've had mine for about a year now. In that time i'd say it's fluctuated in darkness. I am trying MSM and pycnagenol as I've read they can help. From the majority of info i've read, melasma would appear to be an internal problem, so any surface treatment (creams, laser etc.) won't work, and can in fact make things worse. I don't recall seeing any legitimate verifiable claims of such treatments working. Not much DOES seem to work, but things like MSM etc. can't do any harm or make it worse, plus in many cases there are often other health benefits to using things like that. If it helps fade my melasma any %, then great, but i'm not doing any damage in the process.

    In the meantime, I use concealer if I go out. Bit of a pain, but i'm pretty good at it now. My girlfriend never even noticed I had it on, so that's good to know lol!

    I live in the UK and I'm white, so I'm certainly in the minority. Most men who have it seem to be asian. I spoke to a dermatologist and was advised there are no known effective treatments, but that it has been known to go away of its own accord, although that can take years. In the meantime, I continue to research safe treatments.

  8. #6
    SCT Elite endt91's Avatar
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    I've actually never had melasma, but I do have a bit of knowledge in skin lightening, which is basically what treatment for melasma is. MSM, Pyncogenol and Vitamin C are all good supplements to take for melasma, though. I know someone who has melasma and HQ did end up making it darker for her as well. Exfoliation is ultimately what has lightened it a bit (not gone, but lightened).

    A good sunblock is very necessary in order to prevent further darkening of your melasma. Make sure it is a zinc oxide one.

  9. #7
    Hi Atom and endt91, thank you for your suggestions. I will look into the supplements, and will talk to my primary physician about it.

    Atom, how long have you been taking MSM, and Pynocgenol? and do you think the supplements are helping your Melasma? The concealer is a good idea. I actually thought of using a tinted sunscreen.

  10. #8
    SCT Elite endt91's Avatar
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    I wonder if dermablend would work for melasma. dermablend is a type of makeup that people with vitiligo use to even out. i know that when us guys hear "makeup" we think...pass...but it could be a good possibility. i'm not sure if it would work the same though since you're trying to mask dark spots rather than light ones.

  11. #9
    I've been using the MSM and Pyncogenol (plus some vit c) for about a month. Can't say i've noticed much difference, although perhaps a slight breakup in one of the patches. It's minor though, and maybe it's wishful thinking and i'm seeing something that's not there. It's not certainly not got any worse though. I've heard it can take many months for the effects to be noticed. I have nothing to lose by trying it anyway. It's not that expensive either.

    As for the make-up, I was hesistant, and last thing I wanted was for it to look like i was wearing any, but there are some good ones out there, some even designed for men.

  12. #10
    Thought I'd update this as since January this year I have been using M2 (formerly MaMa lotion I think?), which is a mandelic acid based treatment. I have been using all three face treatments, the cleanser, skin refinish and moisturiser every day. I'm actually amazed that it seems to be working! I have noticed definite breakup in my melasma, and it's got a bit lighter as well. It's definitely still there, but showing signs of improvement, so I will stick with using this stuff and see what happens. I'm still not happy with how it looks, but all I can say is that this stuff appears to have done something, and I hope it will continue to do more. It's actually the only treatment I'm using at the moment, as I stopped using MSM and Pyncogenol last year, as it didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever. Anyway, thought I would post this if anyone else is considering giving this stuff a go.

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