Melasma and Hormone Inbalance

Thread: Melasma and Hormone Inbalance

  1. #1

    Melasma and Hormone Inbalance

    My mom had horrible melasma, so when I started to get it, I researched as much as possible.

    I spent $$$$$ on dermatologists products, name brand 'whiteners', foundation (which I never used before), sunscreens of all kinds (which I never used before because I was allergic to them)...
    but along with my melasma, I had more food allergies, less immunity, fatigue...signs of 'estrogen dominance' (bloating, weight gain etc).

    I started taking DIM (ActivaMune) for 'estrogen dominance' and that stopped the melasma I had from spreading. I thought I found the answer. DIM, tons of sunscreen, foundation, hats...but I still had blotches on my face...'You're getting really tanned", I was hearing a lot.

    Then I went to a very good endocrinologist, because I was feeling so crappy, who found I needed Armour Thyroid, as I had low thyroid function.
    I started that..and the melasma faded a bit!. I told the doctor, as I was very happy about that, but he wasn't too interested.

    Then we found I had low testosterone, low cortisol, low adrenal function, possible perimenopause coming up...
    So I started on 2mg DHEA (very low dose, to bring up the testosterone), calcium d-glucarate and the DIM (just to offset any estrogen), along with thyroid medication (T3 and T4 which is Armour Thyroid)..

    and 2 months later, my melasma is really fading, where I look like I have some freckles, I don't even wear sunscreen anymore, or foundation, my digestion is better, I can eat more variety of foods again, I feel better, I'm losing the weight I gained (slowly), I can exercise again, etc etc etc...

    I still have a ways to go...in terms of feeling like I used to, before the melasma started showing up...but I'm starting to climb up that mountain, instead of rolling down.

    So...I am just suggesting, before getting laser treatments, or if you have spent hundreds of dollars on creams, bleaches, foundations, sunscreens...
    think of how you are feeling..in your body...and try to find a good endocrinologist, if needed.

    Maybe melasma is a symptom...and if it is..doctors should be trying to find the cause, instead of just bleaching the symptom over and over...of course there is more money in treatments than cures.
    It was a symptom of major hormonal imbalance for me..I would read it was a symptom of too much estrogen circulating around in the body..and I feel that is what my mom had...
    but doctors seemed to just stare at me when I talked of DIM and 'estrogen dominance'.
    I tested low testosterone twice. That would mean there was nothing to balance out the estrogen I had/have. But I also have adrenal issues too, that will have to be addressed.

    I just want to share this because I wasted SO much money on stuff to fade it, stop it, peel it...
    when I just needed to go to the endocrinologist..and even that took a while to find a good one!

    I hope this helps.

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  3. #2
    Your story sounds a lot like mine. Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. I definitely have estrogen dominance and many of the same symptoms that you mentioned. I plan on seeing an endocrinologist very soon.

  4. #3
    Sorry for the "INbalance"...I plead 'brain fog'!...and before seeing this endocrinologist, I saw a dermatologist, who gave me the retin A/hydroquinone/cortisone cream that made the melasma worse; I saw my doc who suggested fibromyalgia or cancer; I saw a rheumatologist who tested for lupus; I saw a doc who said I was low on iodine, DHEA, testosterone, T3 and T4, Vit c, d, Selenium, pregnenolone, but wanted me to take massive doses of all of these, and said I had possible IBS. Before seeing docs, I filled my cupboard with all sorts of supplements for melasma, for digestion, had limited my diet A LOT, was trying MSM, herbs, all those creams out there, tinctures, acids. I had gotten to the point where i was researching laser treatment. Since seeing this endocrinologist, I have thrown them all away. The melasma looked pretty bad, and I windsurf on weekends. Now I just use a bit of sunscreen if I am at the beach all day, but my melasma, which are just a few freckles now, doesn't darken or spread. It has been a 3 year journey till now...and still a ways to go.

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  6. #4
    bluebird87's Avatar
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    I have the opposite problem, ie, I have very high level of testostorene and I have seen tons of endocrinologist all around the world but none seem to help. i got my melasma from a birth control pill call dianette which my previous endocrinologist prescribed me.

    I have tried chemical peels and bleaching cream which did not help at all. infact it made my skin worse. chemicals are very harmful to skin and i'm never applying any chemical on my skin again. i totally regret it.

  7. #5
    It is strange, because if you have high Testosterone, something must be causing it. I would think something is not opposing the T, to balance it in your body. I have low T, but I also have low cortisol, low ACTH, low T4, high SHBG, high FSH, and the list goes on and on...(I got used to those 10 vial blood tests!) I hope the endo's tested for your thyroid, adrenal and pituitary function, along with the 'Day 3 of the Cycle' test. It is difficult to find a good endo. My endo has a list of docs worldwide that he knows and recommends, but the list is short. Maybe 1-2 for each country. I once had, in my younger days, melasma due to a BC, but it cleared as soon as I stopped it. Which shows that it threw off my hormonal balance in a bad way. This time the melasma didn't go away, and I wasn't on BC.... Now it has faded, but due to the adrenal problems, I still have a ways to go to feel better. It is much more complex than estrogen dominance. It seems to be more Hormonal Imbalance. And we have so many hormones! I don't have high estrogen. But I have low T, and other things as well. Also, some labs may not be reliable, which is why this endo is testing several times, to be sure. I damaged my skin using so many things on the melasma...and in the end, it seemed to be a symptom of internal problems...not dermatological...what we women need are better endocrinologists!

  8. #6
    bluebird87's Avatar
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    My testostorene started to increase as i grew older but the melasma appeared a lot later, when i was on BC pill. my skin now looks like it has no life in it. thats why, nothing suits on my skin for too long. its like my skin has lost the ability to absorb anything.

    i could not find anything to fade it after extensive research on melasma. currently im under the best hospital in UK for my hormonal problems. but doctors are still struggling to find the right treatment. now im just waiting for a miracle to happen. Dear God help me

  9. #7
    Hi Bluebird...my body started 'breaking down' for years, but when it got to the point where I felt the only place I could be was in a hospital bed, that is when the melasma showed up and went crazy on me...from my experience, hormonal problems, if that is what you have, take a long time to clear....They symptom, melasma, cleared fast, but my body..well, I read doctors expect 18 months till one feels energetic (like normal) again. When I started thyroid meds, he said it takes 6 weeks for the body to adjust...then the dose needs adjusting..another 6 weeks..blood tests galore! I'm loving it...still have to tackle my adrenals. My endo has 2 UK endos on his list. Maybe you can go to them for a consult...that's what I had to do...consult after consult...a lot of endos in the 'establishment' don't prescribe Armour...which I needed....Maybe you have heard of... Peter James Trainer, BSc FRCP MBChB MD Senior Lecturer Dept of Endo Christie Hospital Wilmslow Road Manchester, M2O 4BX United Kingdom Clinical Practice Concentration: Adrenal Diseases and Disorders, Pituitary Disorders, Thyroid Dysfunction ..or an associate of his... Maybe it will be a start..and try not to damage your skin..Our poor skin is just doing what it should...Something is telling it to do this, and so...up pops melasma!..

  10. #8
    bluebird87's Avatar
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    oh thank you for the doctor's address Pobey. I will tell my family about seeing this new doctor. Lets see what they says. You know I've become so much frustrated with all these that sometimes I feel like giving it all up but lets see what future holds for me.

    Its good to know, you're melasma fading away. that must feel like a big relief

  11. #9
    I have had melasma for about 7 years and each summer it worsens. I am now in my mid 60's. Last summer I started a regimen of mandelic acid light peels along with home maintenance of the same products. I use Fenix sunscreen faithfully. My melasma appears on the upper lip, left cheek, forehead, chin and eyebrows. I must report that the mandelic products have made a tremendous improvement.

    I know that my problem stems from hormones because of my age. Does anyone have any information about oral supplements that could improve the disappearance of my melasma even more.

  12. #10
    stumbled upon this post when googling for info about DIM and melasma, and i just want to applaud you. to anyone reading this thread, please explore your internal health before treating your external problems. your skin is trying to tell you something! in my opinion, problems like melasma, rosacia, acne, and psoriasis etc...these are trying to tell you something that you need to take care of inside. i suffered for decades with severe acne and pigmentation disorders, and never once (and i went to some of the best in the country) did a dermatologist inquire about my internal health. i am furious about this - it is unthinkably irresponsible in my opinion. i encourage you all to see endocrinologists, GI's, allergists - whatever bloodwork might indicate or direct a good path might be - i have clear skin since battling my way to the source. if only i had been able to get there sooner. thank you for your post.

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