This is a bit long, but I promise it has a happy ending.
I have to share this. I started showing signs of Melasma while on birth control pills in my early 30s. At the time, it was just on my upper lip. It got much worse in my mid 30s; at that point it was on my nose, cheeks, upper lip and forehead. I got pregnant with my first child and this exaserbated the problem. From that point, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding for 7.5 years. So, I could not try retin A or anything like that, but I did try every over the counter product that I could get my hands on; everything made it worse. Once I stopped breastfeeding my youngest, about 3.5 years ago, I started using all the prescription creams. What a joke! I can not tell you, but I bet you know from experience, how much money I spent on these dumb creams. Then, I moved on to laser treatment. I paid $1800 for a package of treatments. I really could just kick myself for this. Of course it didn't work, and yes, it made it worse. One of the laser treatments even permanently messed up my upper lip. It destroyed fine muscles. When I pucker up, I have major lines; it looks like I have been a smoker for years, and I do not smoke. And, when I get even just a little over heated, a vein puffs out.
Anyway, this went on for about a year of laser treatments. All the while, I kept saying that I thought I needed to heal it from the inside out. I went to several different vitamin stores to ask their advice. They gave me things, but none of them worked. Finally, at the end of October 2008, almost a year ago, I consulted with a natural path (NP). I was having some hormonal problems that were causing me to have many cluster migraines. An NP will request blood work to look at what is going on in your whole body, instead of trying to put a band-aid on one thing. It was determined that I had many deficiencies. I was severely anemic and vitamin D deficient. I had virtually no Bs in my body(result of stress), and hardly any magnesium. Anyway, you get the point. I really believe at some point I had adrenal fatigue.
She recommended many vitamins and supplements, of which the majority came from Shaklee. I was not even thinking about my melasma at the time. I had pretty much decided that it was something that I would simply live with for the rest of my life. Immediately, some of my symptoms went away...my hair stopped falling out, my skin was less dry, my fingernails started growing for the first time in 5 years, I started sleeping through the night, etc. Well, about 3 months after I was on my vitamin regimen, I went to the dermatologist for a macro. I had one laser treatment left, but was definitely not going to use it, so they allowed me to trade for 3 macros. Anyway, I was sitting in the chair with no make-up on and when the girl came in and looked at me and my chart; she was in total disbelief. It happened so gradually, over the three months, that I didn't even realize that my melasma was significantly lighter...almost gone completely. It was gone completely in some places. She called about 5 people in to show them my face and my pretreatment pics, including the doctor. They all asked what I was doing. I told them that it was my Shaklee vitamins and I had addressed it from the inside out! The doctor said she totally believed it. Of course I wanted to say, "Then, why don't you sell vitamins to your patients instead of expensive laser treatments?"
So, that's my story. After about 4 months, I even became a distributor for Shaklee, because I was telling everyone about my amazing results, in all areas, not just with respect to the melasma. I am going to try to get copies of my pictures from the dermatologist, so that I can post before and after pictures. They are scary though:)
Please don't hesitate to email me with any questions. I remember searching all the info on-line and the frustration of not really finding an answer that worked for me. I was really embarrassed about what I looked like without make-up. I am happy to share my NP's info and the Shaklee products that I use.
I certainly hope this helps someone!