By Kelly Paterson, Dermal Clinician
Melasma can be very difficult to treat and maintain because of a number of factors including where the pigment sits in the skin, hormones and ultra violet radiation (UVR) exposure. There is however, a very effective treatment that will provide long-lasting results.
Cosmelan is a cosmeceutical in-clinic treatment, also known as a chemical face peel, and also combines with an at-home regime. During a consultation, your clinician will assess your skin, the severity of your condition and will explain how Cosmelan (or Dermamelan) will help you overcome Melasma.
This treatment is also anti-ageing, as your second part of the at home treatment is the Cosmelan 2 cream, which contains retinol. This is one of the best anti-ageing and resurfacing ingredients, which will also help prevent future breakouts.
In my experience, the effects of Melasma are not extremely prominent on my skin, but there’s no doubt it is quite noticeable and it has affected my self-confidence. Cosmelan was suited to my condition, and I had experience this treatment before for my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which are the pink or red marks you see visible on the skin post-breakouts.
Due to having a dark skin type, I left the Cosmelan mask on my skin for 10 hours and then gently removed it with a wet face washer, with luke warm or cool water. After that point, I applied the anti-stress mask for 20 minutes, which was cooling and helped a lot with the slight discomfort I was feeling.
Here is my experience over the next seven days:
Day 1 – The next morning I woke with erythema (redness), oedema (swelling), heat and discomfort. The swelling was more pronounced around my eyes, as the skin tissue is thinner here. I had more swelling around my right eye as I had more pigment here and it was higher up, which meant the thinner the skin is, the more swelling.
I cleansed, applied the fast skin repair and SPF 50+ , which I reapplied about 20 minutes before I went to work, wore a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and used an umbrella to walk to work. Around 2pm, my face started to feel itchy, but I’m prone to getting high Histamine reactions. Therefore, I waited until 72 hours to start using the Cosmelan 2 treatment cream. By 6:00pm my skin was very itchy and at 7:30pm, I started to develop hives below my bottom lip and around the centre of my forehead. On night 1, I cleansed, applied the anti-stress mask, which stung for about 5 minutes before calming down, then the mask was cooling and calming for my skin. I also took a Telfast for my histamine reaction.
Day 2 – I woke quite swollen, especially around my mouth and my skin was hot and felt tight. At late morning, around 11:30am, my skin began to peel a bit. On night 2, I started shedding on my nose, cheeks, under my eyes, and still felt hot, so I used a cold towel to reduce the heat. There was also a stinging sensation within my skin.
Day 3 – The heat reduced quite a lot, but I still had redness and swelling, and my right eye was swollen, which lasted for a couple of hours. My skin felt tight and extremely dry.
Day 4 – It was the first day with significant reduction in heat, but medium redness and swelling was still present. I began shedding sheets of skin and had hot flushes throughout the day.
Day 5 – Definitely a reduction to medium redness and the swelling started to go down.
Day 6 – By now, there was no swelling and mild redness. By now, I hadn’t worn make-up for 6 days.
Days 7-14 – I recovered well, there was still some flaking and peel for up to a few more days.
Overall, this was the most optimal treatment for my Melasma, and also anti-aging, and really helped with my post-inflammatory redness. I got a 90% reduction, as there still remains ever so slightly faded pigment (which is the dermal pigment – this is the deepest/hardest to treat).
Below are photos from my experience with Cosmelan: