Monday, July 20, 2009

How the Dermatologist Jacked Me Up

Do I look happy?  NOOOOOO!!!!!  

I haven't been taking the best care of myself, I'll admit it.  I've been crazy stressed, don't sleep like I should and haven't been eating right.  So, when a few months ago when I started getting dark spots on my face I was concerned.  I changed my facial products.  No avail.  I tried to sleep more.  No luck.  I am trying to drink more water.  Nope.  So, I purchased OTC Esoterica fade cream.  That worked a tiny bit but I was still concerned because it wasn't really working.  Dark marks on the face...not cute.  I had to wear concealer/foundation moisturizer and I don't like concealer and foundation.  

I finally broke down and contacted my dermatologist but it was 45 days to see her.  Not good enough.  I looked for reviews for other top dermatologists.  I made an appointment with one since the wait was only a week.  Immediately (when I walked through the door) I knew I wouldn't like this dermatologist but my face needed help.  She gave me a more potent lightening cream, Obagi.  I used this stuff for 2 weeks and my face got worse.  As a matter of fact the chemicals burned my face.  

Uh, oh.  Not happy.

I contacted my regular dermatologist and begged for an emergency appointment.  I went the next day and she looked at my face and said "What happened to you?"  I told her the story and she said the treatment was too strong for my skin since I have sensitive skin.  She also informed me that the burn went down a layer or two on my face and the only way to get the discoloration out now is a combination of natural lightening products and laser.  


So, let's talk how much money I'm out now.  I paid $115 to the first doctor for treatment and products that made me worse.  My regular doctor (who I trust) says I need new products and laser.  Products and office visit $365.  Laser which I haven't had yet $350.  

Oh, and what did this all start from?  Hormones I'm told.  WHAT?????  

Is this what I have to continue looking forward to in my 40s?  HORMONES messing up my life, body and face?  I've been taking hormones for 5 years now and I'm just 40!  I wonder if I need a new prescription or if this is par for the course.  I'm not coming off of them because the doctor said I'm too young and they have their benefits of which I'm totally in support of.  


I guess until this goes away it's concealer and foundation.  Any good recommendations out there?  

Oh, what did I learn from this?  Never trust my face to anyone else except Cultura.  Just like my dentist, they are both a little more expensive but oh so worth it!  


  1. Bobbi Brown has a good line of foundation that "skims" over the face (doesn't settle in lines).

    I'm so sorry you have to go through this! I have been circling the idea of getting my freckles (some of which have moved on to sun spots) treated, but now I'm going to be even more super-careful.

  2. I've heard of this Obagi thing and everyone you I know a used it had a problem later on.. so I don't trust it.. i guess it's just to strong.
    I'm sorry about what you suffered and what your paycheck will suffer (the laser) but true if you trust your doctor don't consider changing him/her ever :)
    Hope you find the right combination for what you need .. take care :)

  3. Hey, Tami...Sounds like you are finally in good hands. Yes, hormones can cause hyperpigmentation. Would you mind letting me know what precisely you are "on"? Obagi is very strong for sensitive skins... Hugs, R.

  4. Tami, I'm sorry you have to deal with this expense now. And I hope that O stuff wasn't too painful. Is hyperpigmenation a genetic thing?

    p.s. on the bright side, you have beautiful lips...and I don't mean that in an inappropriate way ;-)

  5. Hey Rosina-

    I'm on SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF and SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel and Retin A. I'm supposed to have laser in a week or two but I don't really have the $350.

  6. Haze-

    Thanks! I always used to hate my lips growing up b/c I thought they were too big but I've come to love and appreciate them. Big is good right? LOL

  7. Tami -

    We have the same story. At age 35 my face started breaking out in brown patches which was the first sign of a hormonal imbalance for me. By age 37 they were a fixed part of my face and so was taking a hormone pill.

    My face looked terrible and I felt terrible. I was told since it was hormonal there wouldn't be anything to help it and diagnosed me with melasma. I was determined to find something to treat it.

    I had laser treatment that helped diminish the discoloration a little. That was ugly!

    I tried EVERY lightening product out there. No noticeable difference. I went for regular facials where the esthetician used papaya enzymes to try and lighten the patches. That didn't work, but I had glowing skin :)

    I eventually found a place that did fotofacials. This helped me dramatically. I still have discoloration around my neck that always darkens in the summer. But this worked for me. I had to do 6-8 sessions. I went back for touch ups and haven't gone in several years. The results were great (for me). Research it first though.

  8. No, I don't have anything to offer except, I'm glad you blogged about it. Your experience is a learning lesson for my little sister who I'm recommending your blog --- she won't listen to me so maybe your blog will enlighten her!

  9. Oh dear. If only we could talk. I have had problems with this for years. First, since you are dark skinned, they should not be messing with harsh stuff on you! The risks are higher, even with lasers, so be careful!!! The photo facials are a waste of money. I have spent THousands to get rid of my pigment Tami, I don't want you to make the same mistakes.

    I cover up with Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge. It is super. I just tap that on the discolored areas after I put on my sunscreen and it really does the job. Very opaque and dry, so it stays on forever. I touch up with a kit I keep in the purse. One in the bathroom, one in the purse.