Very bad discoloration, any advice?

Stubbly mustache and chin hair just aren’t my “look”, so I’ve been seeing an electrologist since Feb '09. Since I’ve started, I’ve had a pretty persistent discolored shadow – its not hair, its melanin.

According to my electrologist, a handful of people she works on have had discoloration, but it usually fades – mine won’t fade. The only real difference between me and her other clients is diet: I’ve been on a strict vegan diet since 2005. I don’t think I’ve had any trouble getting my nutritional intake, but really I’m open to any guesses.

I’ve tried hydroquinone in the form of Neostrata skin lightening gel, benzoyl peroxide in the form of tea tree oil, and supplementing my diet with zinc, but still no success.

Here are some reference pics of my ugly mug, each one showing what I look like 7 days after electrolysis:

Jan 2010:

Jun 2010:

Up close and personal, it really doesn’t look too bad, but every other picture and it looks pretty hideous.

Now I’m still in the process of having the hair taken off, but I’d really like to be looking my best without an ugly shadow as soon as possible.

I’m going to see a dermatologist in two weeks, but if anyone on the forum has any advice, I’ll be extremely grateful :slight_smile:

Where there any other signs of over treatment or side effects, or do the treatments go smoothly?

Do you use any retinoids (vitamin A) with your hydroquinone? If hydroquinone is going to work for you at all, a retinoid will speed up and intensify the results (it basically causes skin cell turnover/renewal and is typically prescribed for acne and acne scars and pigmentation problems). If you’re not already applying it, then there’s a good chance it will be what your derm prescribes.

Aside from that, your only options might be some sort of microdermabrasian/ chemical peel/ photofacial I guess for the uneven pigment. I’m not sure your pigment is bad enough to warrant that though, hyperpigmentation usually does fade on its own eventually (can take months or years though).

You mention diet
Diet and hydration play a significant role in the healing process however do not fret as in time, with the natural process of cell renewal, you will heal.

It is useless for electrologisgts to bla bla and say, “My clients never get red and never bla bla bla” when you are not their client and they do not know your overall health. I have had the finest electrologists work on me yet even with the best, I experience lots of tissue trauma and have sometimes asked for blend treatments as they are more gentle for me. In any event…

Get water in you. How much? Divide your weight in half and say the word, OUNCES and that is generally enough. Example: 150 pound person would drink 75 ounces. Make sure the water is NOT distilled.

I am curious, who was it that diagnosed the discoloration as hyperpigmentation?
From your pic, it looks like your upper lip is irritated but I don’t know if it is hyperpigmentation.

Since your products are not working for you, stop using them. You can actually spend far less with some other suggestions but I will get to that after you try the following simple suggestions.

I suggest that you ice immediately after treatment for only 5 minutes. The electrologist should have ice on hand. If the tissue is producing too much melanin, remember that the hyperpigmentation is often an inflammatory response so the ice reducing the swelling, might be a good idea. Apply neosporin cream after you ice. Don’t do this forever, just try it after the next few treatments and see if you notice any change.

If you see no change, ask your electrologist to try using blend treatment on you just once and see what happens.

This is not a blanket suggestion for everyone.

Let us know what your dermatologist says.

Like Arlene, I have serious doubts that what happens is a hyperpigmentation. However, I am sure that the products you are applying will help restore the original color of the skin faster. The color will return with or without the aid of acids, but extra help is always welcome.
Keep your skin without the presence of surface dead cells, promotes the flow of current on subsequent visits to your electrologist.

In the photo, it can not be assessed if the surface of the skin is being affected. But it seems that it is not.
What can be observed is that you have a very thin skin in contrast to deep-rooted hair. Therefore it is normal for a few months the transparency of internal damage is evident. Partially damaged follicles have not finished healing. This is the redness that you see.
The contrast of red and internal injuries and deep black roots of hairs are not removed, resulting in a purple, red and black = purple.
The best prescription you can get from a dermatologist is that you refrain from sunbathing in the coming months, until the skin regains its original color.

If your case was in my hands, I would have expected to treat those hairs at a later stage of the cycle in order that the roots are smaller, then the skin would have suffered damage a little less.


I think for right now, microdermabrasion is a little too harsh, but I’ll definitely look into applying some retinoid cream and eating more veggies with vitamin A :slight_smile:

Arlene R. Batz, CPE,

I’ve not been diagnosed with hyperpigmentation, its just when I have pictures taken, it looks so awful and ugly.

For what its worth, I’ll cut back on the soda and start drinking more water. I’m also down to around 45 minutes of hair pulling on my face a week, so hopefully things improve.

Your feedback is much appreciated :slight_smile:


I’ve seen the half-inch ingrown hairs my electrologist pulls out — I think more than most people, my skin has problem with deeply ingrown hair, and it makes it look more blotchy than having a uniform shade of any particular color.

And with regard to sunbathing, don’t worry, I’m a computer programmer, my skin never sees the light of day anyway :wink:

I think that once you get full clearances, things will resolve. Right now, you have large hairs with deep fat bulb systems taking up space next to smaller hairs with finer growth cells.

You will see that as you catch the phase, you will have much less noticable post treatment redness to display.

What I see left on your upper lip would be a memory in 30 minutes in my office. Then we would just reclear things every 3 weeks, so you don’t get to the point where you see stubble, or shadow through the translucent skin.