I need to know if it’s safe for me to get extensive galvanic electrolysis done on my face since I also have melasma. Will the electrolysis treatments cause inflammation that will trigger the melasma to spread &/or darken? I have PCOS so the facial hair is severe.

mmm, I suppose it’s possible, but I’m going to say unlikely?

Melasma is similar to other types of hyperpigmentation, and so in theory could be triggered by the same triggers, but practise suggests sunlight exposure on the larger number of malanocytes is usually the cause. A bit of anecdotal, I did see some melasma on my own face when taking both estrogen and progesterone, but I didnt see any increased frequency for hyperpigmentation from the blend electrolysis I was undergoing at the same time. Regardless, Melasma will fade over time like any other hyperpigmentation, and once the stimulus is no longer occurring the issue should slowly correct itself.

Thyroid issues seems to be a cause, and the PCOS you have could also be contributing. I would say there is some chance you may see some hyperpigmentation from electrolysis, but, as in all cases, it should fade over time. IF you do have thick hair from PCOS, you can still benefit from the electrolysis, and if there is any spead of the Melasma, know that it will go away over the next year after treatments cease.


Thank you for responding. I’ve read that a lot of laser treatments and IPL treatments tend to make melasma worse instead of better, so I thought electrolysis might do the same. My melasma appeared in late 2013 and I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter what I do. I think you’re right about the thyroid being involved somehow. Is your melasma completely gone now?

Also, if anyone else (especially other experts) has any input on this subject I would greatly appreciate it. I need all the info I can get so I can make the correct decision.

mine yes, I dont take progesterone any longer, unfortunately stop taking a pill isnt an option for you.

So you feel that the progrsterone caused the melasma instead of the estrogen? That’s interesting. Everyone says something different.

Melasma is typically caused by a combination of sun exposure, female hormones (both estrogen and progesterone*) and thyroid issues.

If you haven’t seen a dermatologist already, I’d recommend starting there and getting their opinion. There are various treatments they can prescribe to hopefully lessen the pigment spots (though these can be somewhat expensive). You’re also going to need to avoid sun and tanning as much as possible, since there will always be a chance of the spots returning, even if you do manage to get rid of them.

I’d also recommend an endocrinologist for the PCOS issue. Frequently, primary care doctors prescribe solutions that can make the situation worse. Even then, generally speaking, PCOS afflicted women tend see the best results simply by losing weight, though I have clients that are normal weight and still deal with it, one of which is a doctor herself.

Anyway, onto your question… there’s no guarantee electrolysis won’t create more pigmentation issues for you. Injuring the skin in any form can cause the melanocytes to release pigment into the skin. That said, electrolysis probably won’t worsen your situation. Ultimately, however, there is a small risk that it can, so the choice comes down to dealing with the hair or risking some more pigmentation. We can’t promise you for certain one way or the other, so it’s a decision you’re just going to have to make.

  • progesterone will also metabolize into estrogen, testosterone and other hormones, so theoretically, it can cause your hair situation to become worse on its own and make your melasma worse

I agree with EE’s comments. There is no way we can predict how your skin will react. Electrolysis is low risk procedure. If you get TEMPORARY skin reactions, it resolves.

One thing I will add is family physicians DO treat women with PCOS whether it be prescribing spironolactone, metformin, birth control pills for irregular periods or giving weight management advice . Sometimes they advise patients to see their gynecologist or endocrinologist? There are protocols that can be found on Up-To-Date that can be followed and many physicians will touch base with all the newest research on such sites available to them in regard to certain syndromes and diseases.

Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate the input! Honestly I’ve been so depressed about my symptoms that I hardly ever go outside so I don’t feel like the sun is a major contributing factor for my case of melasma.

I have been to 2 dermatologists about it. They both suggested hydroquinone but I don’t feel comfortable using that because I’ve read so many awful things about it.

I am working with a local endocrinologist and also an endocrinologist at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. I’m also working with a gynecologist, as well as a naturopathic doctor to address my vitamin & mineral levels. I do need to lose a bit of weight but even at my thinnest, I still have a major hirsutism issue. When I’m not on birth control pills, my progesterone is perpetually low.

I guess I was hoping that one of you would have first hand experience performing electrolysis treatments on a client with melasma and you could share with me what happened in those cases. (If it spread, got darker, had no effect on it, helped it wishful thinking, etc) Anyone?

Well as for having first hand experience of working on someone with Melasma. I can help you out there.I currently have 2 clients with this issue, and frankly, neither has noted to me any complications with their treatment. It would be facial work in both cases, and I havent noted any difference in pigmentation for either client.This is not to say there is zero chance it COULD happen, but in these two cases there has been no noticeable change in either client. Every womans body chemistry is a little different, so if you are looking for guarantees, you wont find them here.


That’s good to know. Anyone else have clients with melasma?

No one?? :frowning:

What you’re looking for is a guarantee that your problem won’t get worse and none of us can promise that.

No, not looking for a guarantee. Just helpful info about previous clients experiences, for worse or better.

I’m waiting for consumers to reply. We don’t always truly see the end results as electrologists unless the client reports back.

Yes, that would work too. Anyone at all who has insight to offer would be appreciated.