How I Finally Shifted My Melasma Mustache
Well its been one heck of a journey with this discoloration above my lip.. I remember the first time I ever noticed it, I was on holiday in Turkey and I checked myself in the mirror after a day of hardcore sunbathing, to find a grey splodge on my upper lip! I tried rubbing it with a baby wipe but nothing budged. It had remained with me up until around a month ago, I noticed a significant fading.
A little background on me - Before the melasma took residency on my face, I had been on birth control for 4 years with no issues, I had recently started taking the drug 'Accutane' 6 months prior to the melasma's arrival, and I had a healthy-ish diet, with weekend binge drinking as a young student and the daily pasta dish. Following that I moved to Kuwait to start my teaching career (its the desert and its bloody hot!) - everyday my melasma looked at its very worst even when I wasn't directly in the sun, it stopped me from spending days at the beach with my friends, I wore a hat If i ever stepped into the daylight and this restricted me in lots of ways. I felt very angry and upset that I wasn't able to enjoy the days at the beach without panicking about my bloody skin!!
I left Kuwait a year ago, and have lived in Boston (USA) ever since. Since really concentrating on my health, my lifestyle and my happiness, I have seen HUGE improvements in my melasma and eradicated my acne all together. Along with the changes, I have also completely stopped my monthly PMS, I have great energy, and I sleep better. My hair is thicker, my nails are stronger and my eyes are sparkly (they used to be swollen and tired looking all the time!).
Back to the melasma!! - So just for the record, I was probably just like you. I scrolled through every god damn blog on melasma, every forum, every Facebook page, every Instagram account, in a desperate attempt to find the answers to healing my skin! My melasma was taking over my thoughts and damaging my happiness. I would find women who said MSM cured their melasma, apple cider vinegar, I even made a flipping concoxion of anti-dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide at one point! Life was really getting desperate. And for the record I tried all these topicals, I even tried tranexamic acid tablets which lots of women raved about, they actually worked, but then I ran out and yes, it returned as bad as ever. Plus ladies, prescription medication is what probably contributed towards this horrific skin condition, never mind adding more to the mix!
So, what has worked? Well first off, my theory is that I have a yeast/.candida overgrowth in my gut. I believe this has effected my skin thus causing melasma. I don't know the ins and out's, i'm also not claiming this to be solid proof, I just connected the dots over the years and linked my symptoms to that of yeast.
1. My melasma gets darker with heat
2. My melasma gets darker when i'm on my period
3. My melasma darkens when I drink alcohol
4. MY melasma is darker when i'm stressed
5. My melasma is darker after I sweat (exercise)
All of these processes cause our bodies to over-heat and over-work, this is the optimal environment for yeast to grow and thrive, which is why I believe the melasma gets darker.
I also had dandruff, an itchy head, yeast infections, bloating, gas, digestive discomfort after eating carbohydrates and painful painful periods. (All symptoms of yeast overgrowth!) Oh and acne.
How do you fix yeast? How do you get rid of it? It really depends on how it got there and how long its been there. First of all 'Candida' is an overgrowth in your small intestine. You have to work to fix your digestion before you attack the candida.
I started slow, I started to drink lemon water with Himalayan salt on waking up, I avoided processed foods and ate WHOLE FOOD. Whole food is not pasta and bread. It is unprocessed and fresh food like vegetables, meat, fish, sugar-free grass-fed dairy, low sugar fruits (blueberries,strawberries). The problem with candida and yeast is that it feeds off sugar, and anything that breaks down as sugar, so even potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice can be an issue at first. You can eventually eat these things, but not until you have controlled the yeast.
I also bought anti-fungal herbal capsules such as Grapefruit seed extract, dried oregano extract and ate lots of anti-fungal foods such as coconut oil, cinnamon and garlic. These help to fight candida and control the overgrowth.
This diet is not for the faint hearted and I strongly recommend you really consider it before you do it. There is no point doing this diet if you will stop after 5 days and eat a tub of ice cream. You have to be consistent for 4 weeks at least to see results. If you need guidance with this diet feel free to reach out to me. I am here to help. If you want more information on it, see the candida website.
Going low to no sugar will reduce the inflammation in your body and allow your skin cells to heal from deep within the cell membrane. It can take time. It took 3 months before I saw a difference in my melasma, whereas my acne started to show improvement after a week. Thankfully I remained consistent and I now feel so much happier and healthier than I did 4 months ago.
Another change I made was I stopped drinking for 4 weeks, and I was very careful after that drinking only vodka and soda water. Wine is a yeast and therefore it will aggravate your melasma. You cannot drink this until your melasma is under control. If you're unsure of what foods you can eat, again, check the candida diet website.
Lastly, remember to enjoy yourself. I know it's hard when you want to hide away from the world, but as soon as I started to let the healing journey lead me and I just enjoyed the ride, it really made me appreciate things so much more. I took up yoga, started a gratitude journal and started to really incorporate happiness into my life. Happiness is good for the soul and stress is so damaging to our health.
You ladies, should do the same.
I wish you all the best of luck with your melasma journeys. Please leave any comments and I'll reply with urgency!
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