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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.

 

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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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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #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.
 

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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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i'am a male, I have had melasma during several years. It began with conjnction of aha lotion and sunrays. The ay light incresead it, It try a lot of treatment witout more and less success. I can tell you that you have to avoid the free radical, make a medium peel and find a good product which work
 

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I have melasma. I am 38, male, and have used Hydroquinone with success. The stuff really works. I went to a laser clinic today with the intention of having laser, but based on the down time (redness, and the melasma actually gets darker before it comes off, which makes you look so much worse), I was sold on Hydroquinone again. I very well may try the laser down the road, but the price of Hydroquinone is far, far less.
 

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I'm 32 and would like to date a man with melasma. Any takers? lol. My current relationship I believe is going down the pan because of my melasma. If I dated a man with melasma then I wouldn't have any hang ups. I can't bare for my partner to look at me now, I feel so grotesque. It is all too heartbreaking.
 

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if your relationship broke up because of your melasma, he definitely wasn't worthy of you!!!!!!!!!! don't allow anyone to make you feel inferior or ugly or dumb!!!! you are you. you are always sweet on this forum and helpful. don't allow that piece of s t bring you down. you are young and at a perfect age. you got to remember you are special. everyone has special traits. you just have to find confidence in all your special traits. i had a guy leave me after 10 years of a good relationship. he ran up my credit cards and sent me into bankruptcy but i loved him. they aren't worth the pain. there is someone for you who will find you.. you won't have to look for someone. enjoy life. get out with your friends at aleast once a week. go to see a movie even if you have to go by yourself. i know what am talking about. don't let this guy make you bad. he was lucky to have you for a little while. you can be a strong woman. all women can. it is not the outside that counts it is who you are in your heart and brain. smile even when you feel like crying. have you ever had someone smile at you and you returned that smile. be yourself. be who you are. blessings!
 

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if your relationship broke up because of your melasma, he definitely wasn't worthy of you!!!!!!!!!! don't allow anyone to make you feel inferior or ugly or dumb!!!! you are you. you are always sweet on this forum and helpful. don't allow that piece of s t bring you down. you are young and at a perfect age. you got to remember you are special. everyone has special traits. you just have to find confidence in all your special traits. i had a guy leave me after 10 years of a good relationship. he ran up my credit cards and sent me into bankruptcy but i loved him. they aren't worth the pain. there is someone for you who will find you.. you won't have to look for someone. enjoy life. get out with your friends at aleast once a week. go to see a movie even if you have to go by yourself. i know what am talking about. don't let this guy make you bad. he was lucky to have you for a little while. you can be a strong woman. all women can. it is not the outside that counts it is who you are in your heart and brain. smile even when you feel like crying. have you ever had someone smile at you and you returned that smile. be yourself. be who you are. blessings!
Thank you Vencasand for your kind words. You've given me some good advice which I'll be sure to take on board. It really cheered me up today to see that someone had replied to one of my messages on this website for the first time.

 

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Hi all,
I read that melasma as fungal recently. I've had it for around 10 years and am a male at 35 yr old. I used to sun worship and use sunbeds in my early days regularly. I also think I've had systematic candidiasis for years due to tetracycline anti biotics for acne in my early twenties. Micro dermabrasion and N lite laser treatments seemed to have made melasma worse a few years back. I read that an american anti fungal cream beginning with L (maybe Lanacane or something?) had helped somebody clear melasma. I went the chemist in the UK and asked for the cream but they didn't have that one, only a similar one with a very similar name but it was prescription only. I asked to see the cream anyway and checked its active ingredient which was Clotrimazole at 1%. Canestan cream also has this at 1 % and cost me around £7.50 for a tube. I started putting it on my face twice a day and within about 4 days I noticed the largest patch on my forehead does seem to be breaking up.

About a year ago I bought a dermaroller from ebay for under £15, used it a few times and forgot about it. I was recently looking into them again and read how they help creams/oils etc get better absorbed by the skin. For three nights running I used the roller on my face and then put the canestan on. AAfter 3 days my skin was really starting to dry so I stopped canestan and started to use my homemade facecream which has a few different oils to hydrate my skin. Today I have realised that melasma dries and then flakes in the reports of those who have conquered it!!!!!

I have put canestan back on face again and will use the roller and apply canestan tonight. I am also going to dry rub my skin with abrasive wash gloves to see if this will start to remove the melasma, I feel confident this will, if not I will consder a chemical peel to remove the dead skin cells and melasma.

I really do believe that melasma is fungal related and that anti fungal cream is the way forward, especially after using a dermaroller to help it penetrate the skin. I recently had Ducoflan for the candida and it didnt alter the melasma at all, so I think that either the treatment doesn't penetrate the skin or that melasma may somehow also be embedded in the fat cells which may stop it from being affected by oral meds which may only affect blood and tissues, just an intuitive and uneducated guess.

Hope this helps, search melasma is fungal on google and you'll get info and also I read the article first on earthclinic.com.
I'll keep you posted on my results soon.
 

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Hi guys,

I am glad to find this forum for men. I am an Asian guy,49 y/o with melasma on both cheeks for many years. First the brown spots was small, so I decided to go with laser treatments. Unfortunately, the laser made it worse. The spots were darker and bigger. I think because the laser had burned my skin so deep and damaged the cell. I stopped the laser treatment and started to use Ambi (Hydroquinone 2%) after a little over 2 months, the spots disappeared. I was so happy to see my clear skin again so I decided to stop using the Ambi. Then the brown spots came back and even darker than before right after I stopped using it. I read online and found out that the downside of using the Hydroquinone is once you stop using it or using it too long, the brown spots will get worse. I felt so embarrass every time I was in the public. I then used many other topical products with no Hydroquinone such as Louis Varlana, Shiseido, Clinique, Enrose Enrose, and some other Chinese products. In the end, none of them worked.

Recently, I made friends with a dermatologist in Vietnam and he suggested to use Obagi or Neova. I first tried the Obagi number 3 which was basically 4% Hydroquinone. (by the way, I use sunblock every day with 45, or 50 or 60 sph). My friend (the derma) told me the way to use Hydroquinone is:

1/ first 2 weeks, apply one time every 2 nights, sunblock every day
2/ after 2 week, apply every night until the spots get lighten up to 79, 80%
3/ start applying one very 2 nights again for one month and using any moisturizer with peptide to prevent the brown spots coming back.

After 4 weeks, I noticed the improvement. The spots got lighten. Unfortunately, I took a cruise to Asia during my treatment. When I came back, the brown spots came back with me so I have to start over with Obagi 2 times a day again. Right now, the brown spots are still on my cheeks but they are not super dark. I am afraid of the moment I stop using the Obagi, my skin will get worse again. I am alternating between Obagi number 3 and Neova every night now in hoping that once I stop using Obagi (probably the end of May), I can use Neova instead. I am also using the Korean BB cream with a very light powder on top (for men) to cover the spots a little bit when I go out. The good thing about the Korean BB cream is it covers the skin very naturally (you can watch on youtube how to use Korean BB cream on men) Of course, there is nothing can cover my brown spots perfectly unless I put on a make up like a clown, but at least, my face looks a little better.

I thought about trying the Nonalative laser treatment but my friend (derma) said, laser does not treat Asian skin very well and the brown spots are easy to come back. I will update you guys on June, once I stop using Obagi.

Meanwhile, please share with the rest if you found a way to get rid of this melasma problem.
 

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Hi Guys,
I'm a guy here, 39, with melasma for about 7 years. I know it's uncommon in men and wonder if it's also internal/hormonal as with women. I'm also white, which is even more uncommon. The last dermatologist I saw didn't believe I was of full European descent due to my melasma and I guess a ways back in my lineage there is some Mexican which seemed to satisfy the reason behind my melasma. I spent a lot of time in my younger days in the sun - and the melasma first appeared after a hot summer in South Africa where the sun's rays are strongest. It seems to have been waiting to get activated!
The strange thing I notice, and I'm not sure if this is the case with the rest of you, is that each summer it appears in different spots. Currently I have it above my eybrows, on my forehead and a little bit around my cheekbones. I've tried glycolic peels, salisylic acid peels, and Hydroquinone creams.. the latter has worked the best for me. I also picked up Ambi brand cream in the states, the one with 2% HQ, which I use every night. It seems to have lightened my melasma and also I've become hyper vigilant to the point of phobic about getting sun on my face. I'm a runner, so I put on the highest sport sunscreen, plus wear a bandana over my forehead, and a viser when out in the elements. During the day in public, I've also got on a lot of sunscreen and often a bandana on my forehead or a viser. I'm sure people think I'm trying to pull off a fashion statement but in all honesty it's the fear of these awful spots on my face getting dark again. Spots on your face are a real self-esteem killer.
I know there's no magic cure here, but how are your treatments working? And have you also noticed over the years a varying of where the melasma crops up? In your research, do you believe this is a lifetime condition - god I hope not.
Thanks,
Jesse
 

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Fareastvillage,

I don't think melasma has to be a lifetime condition. Plenty of people have found things that helped their melasma to fade. I think the key is trying to figure out what works for you.

My melasma has changed over the years. The place where it first appeared (above my eyebrows) is totally normal skin now. And the area along my temple has faded as well. The rest of my melasma seems to be in a holding pattern, which is pretty amazing considering that I am out in the sun at least for an hour and a half every other day.

I have not found any special creams or treatments other than trying to be relatively healthy and avoiding things that I believe can be hormone disrupting. I believe that I have too much estrogen, and I am trying to figure out how to straighten that out. I'm thinking I must be doing something right because things have not gotten worse. And I attribute that to the changes I have made over the past few years.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all cure. We just have to keep searching, and try not to let these blotches get us down too much.
 
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