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Dark pigmentation above lips. Suspected for post inflammatory hyper pigmentation or melasma. Prognosis?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
I just visited a dermatologist and he told me that I suffer from either post inflammatory hyper pigmentation or melasma. I am an Indian female with brown skin colour. I have dry and dark patches of pigmentation in the area surrounding my mouth except for the portion above the upper lip.I have had this condition of the skin with frequent pimples and acne ever since I was 17 yrs old. I am 33 now. (I also have chronic dandruff in the scalp which is under control to some extent if I cleanse my hair at least once every couple of days.) I was advised to try a cortisone cream (1%) on the hyper pigmented area on the face. I have already tried applying A-Ret HC which had very temporary and slight improvement effects on my skin. Right now, I am using Dr, Reddy's Niltan cream which doesn't really help to clear out the skin. I feel very conscious because of this problem and would love to know of a permanent way to get rid of it. I take plenty of water, fruits and vegetables everyday. I keep out all kind of junk food and spicy food and keep my bowels clean. I walk for half an hour everyday. My thyroid and hormone levels seem to be normal. But I have been deficient in Vitamin D, B 12 and Iron for a very long time. I have just started taking regular supplementary pills for these deficiencies. Please advise.
Posted Wed, 24 Apr 2013 in Pigmentation Problems
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

Melasma is due to overproduction of melanin by the pigment cells, melanocytes and it is more commonly found in females and effects the forehead, cheeks and nose. Sun exposure even if it is for a short time in your case can be responsible for these symptoms.

To treat these dark patches, apply a good sunscreen with minimum spf 30 atleast half an hour before going out in the sun. Use of a mild cleanser and if the skin is dry, a light moisturizer.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables especially cabbage, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables and take a daily vitamin supplement. You should also apply almond oil or skin creams containing vit C or K, alpha hydroxyl acids and kojic acid on the dark patches.

However if the symptoms are severe then topical bleaching agents, chemical peels and laser therapy may be needed. These are available only under prescription and hence a dermatologist should be consulted for these treatment options.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.


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