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Old 07-08-2011, 07:06 AM
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,224 posts, read 6,388,888 times
Reputation: 3233


Yikes! I have this darkening of the skin above my upper lip. It looks like a mustache but it's completely hairless. I am so self-conscious even though I know it's probably more noticeable to me than anyone else.

I went on birth control two months ago and I know the hormones can cause melasma, but I think this started before and is just exabberating now. I also get some sun exposure (which I do limit) so I know that may be contributing.

What to do? I'm wary of bleaching since I don't want to end up with a patch of skin above my lip that's lighter than the rest of my face.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:59 AM
4,158 posts, read 5,017,433 times
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See a dermatologist. Fraxel laser can reduce the appearance of melasma, quite substantially in some women, but you need a consult. Possibly bleaching will work, though I don't think you need to worry about going too light. It's a slower process and you simply stop when you get to the right shade, with occasional touch-ups after that.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:30 AM
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I've been suffering with the same thing for about a year now and it is miserable and embarrassing, I know :-/ Especially in the summer when you just want to be in the sun! One thing I've noticed is using mineral sunblock (it's like a physical blocker instead of chemical one) is a must because the chemical one makes it worse (also can't remember what chemical you want to stay away from so research it if you don't know that already). But I just heard of this within the past week, that melasma can be a fungal thing, and since I've had tinea pedis within the past year and still have my prescription from that (clotrimazole and betamethasone dipropionate cream USP, 1%/0.05%), I figured it's worth a shot. I've only been using it for a few days now, so I'm hesitant (because it MIGHT be wishful thinking) but I swear just in using it a few days, it's lightened tremendously. I do recommend staying away from bleaching if you're in the sun AT ALL. I've spent so much money on lightening products (I'm broke but have been desperate!) and if you use it just on the spot, it will make lighter lines, so you have to use it all over, but even then- it makes skin way sensitive to light, making it worse if you do go in the sun. Good luck to you- I know how damaging it is to self esteem
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:58 AM
12,339 posts, read 20,937,183 times
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There is a medication for Melasma.... check with your doctor.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:36 PM
Location: US
5,144 posts, read 11,094,594 times
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Go off birthcontrol if its actually doing something like that to you. You can use other types. Some treatments can actually make it worse too. Just depends on how your skin reacts.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:26 PM
Location: North Shore Long Island
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Go to the derm!! Same thing happened to my sister courtesy of birth control.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:33 PM
236 posts, read 763,559 times
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You can get over-the-counter skin lighteners too, sold as cosmetics.

My "moustache," and the skin above my upper lip, got darker when I hit my late 30s and wasn't on birth control. Patches of dark skin can sometimes be a symptom of a hormone imbalance, whether or not you're on the pill. Have you noticed dark patches anywhere else around your face, or torso, etc.? If you aren't on the pill, talk to your GP.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:03 AM
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,336,973 times
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For Annika & Jess...

Sorry you've got to deal with this but there are solutions. I had something similar on my jawline & forehead, twice, 10-yrs apart... it was malasma. There are varying causes for malasma, so seeing a dermotologist is the best step. If yours is too... it's easy to remedy with prescription treatments. Took 6-wks of 2-times/day application for it to disappear... you must avoid sunlight during treatment. Without seeing a pic & skin color, it's harder for us non-doctors to 'quasi-diagnose'. OTC creams oftentimes are not strong enough to clear malasma.

I've also had skin cancer on my face three times... no, I never went/go into the sun (meaning soaking up rays on the beach... I can't tolerate that kind of heat anyway), but what most of us don't realize (well, I certainly didn't) is whenever you're out-of-doors, even on overcast days, you're IN the sun... & I was recently told that my sunny apts were also allowing sun onto my skin... that never occurred to me to wear sunscreen IN the house... it makes sense as you're still in direct sunlight. I also spent half my life in hot, sunny climates, which makes it even doubly important to be protected. I'm the color of a cottonball with Celtic skin, so don't have the melanin to protect me from the sun, even though I used sunscreen... turns out, it wasn't applied thickly enough or often enough. Thankfully, all cancers were easily removed with a new surgery technique, so the scarring isn't as bad as it could have been. Don't want to scare you or even suggest it's basic cell or melanoma, but discoloration isn't normal & as others said, please see your dermo.

That out of the way, I was a makeup artist for TV & film for years, so can tell you how to cover it up until you find appropriate treatment to make it disappear. One of my specialities was either covering scars (which I do on myself all the time) & bruises or adding them.


* Take a stiff brush (foundation brushes can be purchsed for $1.49 on drugstore dot com). You can even use a paint brush from a paint supply store or Home Depot... as long as it's very stiff but won't scratch/irritate your skin.

* Buy a cheap panstick or cream makeup several shades lighter than your skin color (Wet & Wild, Revlon, Cover Girl or more expensive Merle Norman... doesn't matter, just a thick, solid base).

* Apply moisturizer to the area to be covered.
* Stipple the brush onto the panstick (dab at it to cover the brush tips) & then stipple it onto the discolored area to cover thoroughly. Dab back onto the panstick again if you need further coverage. Do one small area at a time, rather than trying to cover it all quickly... eventually, you may be able to do just that, but as you're learning, small areas are easier to manage.

* Take a 2nd foundation brush, dip tip into your normal foundation (which matches your skin color... doesn't matter if it's liquid, cream or stick) & lightly stipple on top of the base you just applied. Gently smoothe the corners so it blends well & there are no demarkation signs. Take your time.

To make it easier:

* Practice for 15-min+ per day when you have spare time, rather than trying to learn it quickly before going out for the day. You'll get too frustrated otherwise. Working in front of a window at daylight might be easier for blending purposes.

* Don't despair if it takes several days to 1-wk to get a good technique down. You're doing something different, so as with anything, it can take a few attempts before you're happy with application results.

* Several thin coatings are better than a thick coating. It will be less obvious.

* If you need to add more base/foundation, or find working with a makeup sponge or your fingers is easier (try them all to get your own technique), make sure there is adequate makeup on the applicator (your finger, sponge or brush), otherwise, you're only removing makeup, not blending it.

* You may find a smaller stiff brush (e.g., eyebrow brush) is easier than a foundation brush (size of a blush brush). Visit the Body Shop, Home Depot, paint stores, Target, drugstores... you may have to visit a few places to find a brush stiff enough that it won't collapse when you stipple (dab) the panstick.

* Buy cheap everything first. If you get your technique down, you can use anything. In a pinch on set, I've used lipstick as blush, eyeshadow as lipstick, a flashlight in the dark for lighting, etc. It's really down to technique. What I really find is that more expensive lines have better colors & sometimes texture. BUT, there are many products which are drugstore $ & just as good as the dept store $$$.


* I can post more to show you how to set it, but don't want to be too confusing. It's easy & will require a couple more steps.

* If this doesn't work for you, you have additional questions or need further help, I'd be happy to help. If it's easier for you to take a closeup pic of any discoloration & post it here, I can work with that, too. I'm also an aesthetician & have worked with camouflage makeup with burn victims or people who need scars covered, on body or face (like me), so am happy to help.

* You can also stipple with undereye concealer or even cream eye shadow or a white/beige lipstick. Test what you have as a base. Be creative. What it takes is practice, a sense of adventure & a bit of time. You'll find the perfect product, brushes, method.

I know it can feel embarrassing, but the last thing I wanted to say is you notice it far more than anyone else, guaranteed. As women, we're virtually trained to look into a mirror & find a flaw... then we turn the mirror over to magnifying so we can dwell on said flaw. Don't. I'm sure you're both beautiful as is... we can enhance a temporary spot (because you'll get it resolved soon) so you're more comfortable until then.

I'm not onsite everyday, so if I don't reply immediately, give me a few days. I see Kshe95 replied, too... she'll come find me... she has helped me with all the problems I have in my house from top to bottom!

Good luck & please post back!
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:42 PM
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 14,231,254 times
Reputation: 6450
Ugh the same thing happened to me once. It eventually went away after I stopped the medication. I used something called the "nuvaring" for a while, and it did not cause any discoloration etc. At the time my Dr said it contained the lowest effective amount of hormones. I agree with everyone who says talk to your Doctors.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:53 PM
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,231,404 times
Reputation: 3987
Hummmmmm, I look like I have a moustache, because I do. I only wear a beard in winter.
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