Saturday, August 20, 2011

Candida does not sound good

I started the GSE (Grapefruit seed extract, the liquid) about 1 week ago.  I started it light but gradually increased it as the week went on.  On the forums that I frequently visit, I read about candida and strict diets.  I avoided it, hoping that my malasma was not one of those cases.  The Candida diet is very strict, it much like the Atkins diet.  Meat and veggies.  No fruits, no dairy, no carbs, no sugar, no caffiene...that means no Diet Coke!!!!! 

The GSE is another story.  I was suggested to take 20 drops of the liquid, 5 times a day in water on an empty stomach and do not eat for 1 hour following.  The Grapefruit seed extract is very bitter and very acidic.  So for the past week I have been taking it with water and an Altoid (for the bitterness) but it was so difficult.  I also wouldhave a sore throat 2 hours after drinking the stuff.  Finally, I found on the forum that they have empty gelatin capsules to drip the liquid into and take that way.  It's important to take it in liquid form, because it is more potent.  GSE is a Candida buster, and there is a period in the treatment that you began to feel really awful.  For the last two days I have had diarreha, headaches, stomach cramps and acne breakouts.  They call this the "die-off" stage,  this is when the fungus begans to die and I guess wants to take you down with it. 

We'll see how this goes... I really hope it works!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here we go again?

Update:  I continue to do more and more research...shall we say OCD or obsessed?  I went back for another IPL and began taking Melacor about 1 month ago.  Just this week, I added apple cider vinager blot and grapfruitseed extract or GSE.  I am hoping something will work, for the love of God!  Some moments I think it has lightened with the ACV but then the light changes and I want to cry again. I changed my sunscreen from Neutrogena Oxybenzone (chemical) 100+ to a more natural Aveeno Baby with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, since I heard the chemical one is bad.  I have not gone back to Obaji skin lightening cream since I heard the FDAs in other countries banned hydroquinone because it has shown to cause cancer.  But I will admit, I went on eharmony lately and if I actually go on a date the hydroquinone is coming back!!!!

I don't know what else to do...I'm at a complete loss. 

I need to add more to the "cures" list:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Micro needle roller .5mm

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brooke Burkes Struggle

I found this...

Brooke Burkes struggles with Melasma –


After my extensive research on the internet, I have come to realize that no matter how much money I spend in skin creams like Obaji, or no matter how many times I torture myself with IPL, there is something awry on the inside and I must figure out what that is and treat that to make my melasma better. It's frustrating, disappointing, depressing and scary to listen to others on a forum talk about their struggles and failures in treatment. It seems it is not curable but some people do say that they have seen great progress. The problem is that one treatment does not seem to fit all. Here is what I have heard, what I have tried and what I plan to try in the future in terms of treatments.

What I have heard:

1. Vitamins and supplements: Vitamins A, C, E and B-complex. Supplements: Selenium, Zinc, DIM, MSM, and Magnesium

2. Fraxel Laser

3. IPL

4. Vi skin peels

5. Weekly Glycolic peels

6. Melacor

7. Panel Testing for hormones, Thyroid, Adrenal and blood toxicity.

8. Obaji System

9. Grape Seed extract

10. Pine Bark extract (Pycnogenol)

11. Tri-luma

12. Organic foods especially meats, eggs and dairy (non-hormone injected)

13. Sunscreen that protects from both UV-A and UV-B daily

14. Big Hats all the time and avoid direct sunlight at all costs

15. Acupuncture

16. Reflexology

17. Colostrum

18. Chinese Herbs and Teas

19. Clarisonic

20. Daily exfoliation with Glycolic pads (20%)

And the list goes on and on, it just depends who you listen to

What I have tried:

1. IPL (over 8 of them)

2. Obaji System

3. Vitamin and Supplements - A, C, E, B-complex, Selenium, DIM, MSM, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, D3, Colostrum, Pyconogenol

4. Vitamin C moisturizer

5. Neutrogena Age Shield UV-A and UV-B sunscreen 100+

6. Big Hats or at least a visor when I am just walking from my car to where ever

7. Suncreen 15+ lip balm

8. Shade when ever possible

9. Gentle 2x daily exfoliation

10. No make up except mascara, lipstick and occasional eyeliner

What I am willing to try as of now:

1. Acupuncture

2. Organic meats, dairy and eggs

3. Chinese Herbs

4. Reflexology

5. Melacor

6. Vi Peels and system

7.  Grape seed extract

8.  Pine Bark extract/ pyconogenol

9.  Clarisonic

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I’m exhausted.  Last Friday I collapsed after coming home at night.  Saturday I felt nauseous knowing I had to run errands and just take my grandmother out to lunch.  Monday I got to work called my mother and cried like a little girl because I was so tired.  I can’t take it anymore.  I made an appointment with a doctor and I plan to see him at the end of the week.  I was reluctant to go into see a doctor for my melasma and get all the testing people have talked about.  First, I don’t have insurance and I am scared how much this is going to cost me.  Second, if there is something internally going on, I don’t want to be pressured to take prescription medications.  But I know that I can't keep going on like this.  And I want some answers about what is going on with my face!!!!

They may be related, my exhaustion and my melasma.  I believe for some reason that they are.  Although I have been tired much longer than I have had the melasma, I believe that as one progressed the other decided to show up as another symptom. Could it be thyroid, or adrenal? 

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have become obsessed with my melasma.  I stare in the mirror, at close range, to see if it has spread and darkened.  I began to research causes and treatments online whenever I can.  I look at others faces and wonder why they don’t have it and I do.  I tell people like my hairdresser and massage therapist.  I guess I feel that they are going to notice it but out of politeness won’t say anything, but still wonder, “what’s with her face?”, so I might as well bring it out in the open and tell them.  I talk about it probably too consistently with my friends and family.  I think they are getting sick of me talking about it.  I wear hats most of the time, complain that I can’t be in the sun and scurry to the shade like an insect.  I have been called, “hat lady”, “vampire” and “movie-star” (hence the big hats and big sunglasses).  There are days I become very disappointment, angry, frustrated, fearful, sad and depressed because of it.  It has changed many things about me.  Not only the way I dress in terms of hats, but also how much time I spend looking at myself in the mirror or window. I have cut my hair to have bangs to hide the discoloration on my forehead. I decline to do outdoor activities with my friends. And I have stopped hobbies that I love like swimming, going to sporting events, skiing, and surfing.
There are times I tell myself to stop being so vain.  But it is my face.  It is what I and everyone else recognizes me by.  It is the first thing they look at when I introduce myself or say hi.  It is not life threatening and "it could be worse", but it still depresses me.

From the Top

I wanted to start a blog, a place to share my struggles, if not with anyone than at least with myself.  My struggles began 5 years ago.  Melasma is a skin condition that inflicts the face and is mostly in women.  Some call it hyper-pigmentation, “the pregnancy mask”, cholasma, etc.  They say that it is due to a hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy and birth control pills but I have also in my research heard it to be “estrogen dominance”, hypothyroid, adrenal fatigue, liver toxicity and copper toxicity.  Nobody really knows what causes it.  Not everybody is the same.  I have never been pregnant and stopped using BCP about 3 years ago, but I struggle with my melasma still.

About 5 years ago I began to notice a tan like darkening on my face especially over my eyebrows and my upper lip.  Then I began to notice more freckles and age spots.  The age spots were on my cheek, forehead and temple.   I contributed the changes to growing up in Arizona, and outdoor activities like surfing without being conscious of sunscreen or any sun protection.  I went to a dermatologist who told me that it was not cancer and gave me a prescription for hydroquinone.  His instructions were to spot treat the age spots and darker areas.  It didn’t get better, and I noticed that if I did go in the sun, it looked worse for weeks.  I still did not know what it was.

One vacation, I went home to visit my parents.  My mother, in all her directness, said that I have a mustache and need to wax my upper lip.  I explained to her that I have, even bleached it weekly, but it was the skin that was dark.  This was the beginning of my self-consciousness.  I figured that if my mother saw it, everyone must have but she was the only one who had the guts to tell me.  I was so embarrassed.  I wanted to cry.  I believe I did.  We decided the next day to go to her “skin person”.  There I had my first IPL and was told that what I had was called melasma and could be from my birth control pills.  That was the day I stopped my BCP all together.  IPL stands for intense pulsed light.  It is lazer of low intensity.  It felt like a strong rubber band that was snapped continuously over every inch of my face.  Afterward, it felt like I had a second degree burn all over my face for about 6 hours.  For about 5 days after, I looked like burnt toast.  Thin black scabs covered every millimeter of my face.  Eventually they peeled off.  I did notice a difference and wanted to continue the treatment despite the pain and recovery time.  So far I have had about 8 IPL treatments and although I no longer have a dark upper lip or age spots, my melasma continues in patches on my forehead and upper and lower cheeks.  About one and half years ago, I went to another dermatologist.  I was now able to diagnose myself but wanted to see if there was something else I could do.  I was put on the Obagi system.  Both treatments are very expensive and time draining.