[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"] I started birth control at age 15...for years it was amazing!!! It cleared my complexion...regulated my periods etc. I had switched from a lose dose hormonal birth control to Ortho around age 18 with no problems!! After being on birth control for about 5 years...I changed my Ortho to the generic brand & about a month into the new birth control I started to develop a small brown spot on my left inner cheek (about the size of an eraser head). I later learned it was the beginning of Melasma.
At 20, I had never heard of Melasma or knew much about it. Within a few months of switching to the generic brand I developed DARK symmetrical brown patches on both of my inner cheeks. Once it spread I immediately when to see a dermatologist. For about a YEAR I went to 5 different dermatologists all with different ideas....my Melasma just got worse!!! It spread to my forehead....my upper lip....top of my nose. It was HORRIBLE!! Not even makeup could cover it up. The bleaching creams just made it WORSE!!! My face became red, irritated, and the spots darkened.
At age 21.... I was sooo depressed out it & none of the doctors were helping. I started doing my own research...I searched hours/days/months online for cures....I ordered books....I thought I did everything!!! I stopped doing the things I LOVED....going to the beach.....swimming.....taking my beach cruiser out (sun exposure worsens Melasma)
Before my 22nd birthday....very frustrated and sad....I went to another dermatologist who literally said GET OFF BIRTH CONTROL!!! That was the LAST thing I wanted to do!! I always thought....how could I have suddenly developed Melasma after being on birth control for years?!! But I did my research: lasers can make it worse....bleaching cream made mine worse....had a dermatologist suggest freezing it off (yeah right that would just aggravate my melasma!!) And I was SICK of these spots!!! So I thought MAYBE the birth control was causing this!!
So I discussed this option with my primary care physican who STRONGLY advised me NOT to get off birth control. Which is completely understandable considering my age and the risk for pregnancy. But I went with my gut and stopped taking hormones. Alot of the birth control options out there contain hormones....I decided to use a nonhormonal method for protection & follow cycle beads w/protection. I was only 22 and my doctor scared me half to death about the risk for pregnancy without birth control. But I decided the best option for me was to be SAFE the nonhormonal way!
Initally I noticed no change!!! VERY discouraging! I decided to help my body the natural way. I was taking probiotics, Emergen-c vitamin packs, I started yoga!!! I just thought know what I'm just gonna enjoy life!
I started letting myself go to the beach again.....just used waterproof sunscreen....hat...sunglasses and sat under an umbrella and made sure to keep my face out of the sun as much as possible....except for tanning my legs. I started taking my beach cruiser out again and swimming in the pool (just made sure to ALWAYS wear sunscreen and a hat).....Just doing things I LOVE that is advised against with Melasma. I decided I would no longer miss out on fun activities with my friends!!
About a year after getting off birth control I FINALLY noticed a change. And within the year the spots SLOWLY started fading. After 2 years it was about 50% gone. Now it is 4 years later and ALL my spots are gone!!! Literally GONE! For ME hormones created the Melasma. Getting off birth control was the ONLY thing that helped. I'm NOT advising young girls to get off birth control and have unsafe sex....I am just stating to acknowlege the role that hormones play on the body.
For years birth control was great & then my body no longer could tolerate it. While on birth control....it kept spreading....bleaching cream irritated my sensitive skin.....nothing helped except getting off birth control!!
It was NOT a quick fix....but I found out the cause....and found a solution to those spots that made me feel soooo ugly, insecure and sad!!!![/FONT]
I think it is very important to find the CAUSE & then try and treat it!!!!