Adrenal Fatigue: How I Reversed Melasma

Adrenal Fatigue Melasma Before and After

Did you know that melasma and adrenal fatigue are related? And that both can be reversed? It’s true! If you are suffering from either or both of these conditions, I want you to know, there is hope!

Before & After

The picture on the left was taken late spring time, 2008. We were sitting outside at the ball field watching my youngest son play baseball. My husband snapped the picture with his cell phone. That was me, trying to be cute. When I saw the picture, I was in tears and wanted him to delete it. I knew I had “some” hyperpigmentation of the skin on my face, but this picture was the first time I realized how bad it had gotten. I had dark patches on my forehead and on my cheeks. I was mortified. A short time after this picture was taken, I recall my sister making a comment about my skin, not in a bad way, but just in a “she noticed it”, kind of way. A few more comments from innocent friends about the dirt on my skin was enough to make me want to go into hiding until I could resolve it. At this point in time, I had yet to be diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue or even knew what Melasma was.

Fast forward to the after picture. It was the summer of 2012. We had just returned from a cruise and I was sporting a pretty nice tan. I am half Mexican, so it doesn’t take much for me to turn brown. I snapped this picture myself, using the auto-timer on my camera and a tripod. To be perfectly honest, even sometimes I can’t believe the difference, to the point I get emotional and teary-eyed. I promise you, there was no special lighting, photoshopping or professional make-up in the after photo. I had on a bronzing powder and blush, no foundation or concealer and of course, eye make-up. I love my eye make-up!

How I Reversed Melasma

What is Melasma

Melasma is hyperpigmentation of the skin. It causes brown “dirty” looking patches on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip. The patches develop slowly over time and is thought to be worsened by sun exposure.

Who Gets Melasma

Melasma is particularly common in women due to the underlying cause being the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Pregnancy, birth control and hormone replacement therapy usage contributes to the occurrence of melasma in women. According to the American Academy of Dermatology only 10% of people with melasma are men.

Causes of Melasma

While conventional thought is melasma is caused by the sun, it is not the root cause.  The sun may worsen melasma, but it does not cause it. Melanocyte-stimulating hormones (MSH) are responsible for melasma. These hormones stimulate the production of melanin. In both humans and animals an increase in MSH causes an increase in skin darkening.

How Adrenal Fatigue and Melasma is Related

Stress of any kind causes an adaptive response from the body. The stress response begins in the brain in the hypothalmus. The hypothalmus sends a signal to the pituitary gland to secrete adreno-corticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol. The adrenals convert cholesterol into pregnenolone which is the building block for both sex hormones and cortisol. When the body is under chronic stress, such as during adrenal fatigue, the body uses pregnenolone to produce more cortisol, limiting what’s available for producing sex hormones. In a female, the result can be low testosterone (reduction in sex drive) and low progesterone which throws off the balance of estrogen. And, here is the connection to melasma; elevated estrogen (or estrogen not balanced by progesterone) increases MSH and as we learned above, this causes an increase in skin darkening or melasma.

How I Reversed Melasma

Before being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, I went to an esthetician for a consultation on the melasma. She offered up several very expensive sessions which involved chemical lightening and instructed me to wear a high-SPF sunscreen on my face, along with a wide-brimmed hat. As much as I did not like the melasma, deep down I knew this wasn’t the answer. It wasn’t long there after I learned of adrenal fatigue and made the connection to how it was affecting my skin. Believe me, I wish I could tell you it was a magic cream or a super special soap but it wasn’t. In fact, my skin care routine is the same today as it was back then, a basic soap and water to wash my face and a touch of moisturizer. It took time for the melasma to fade and eventually disappear for good. As I illustrated above, the melasma I experienced was directly related to adrenal dysfunction and out of balance sex hormones.

I attribute the reversal of the melasma to the balancing of my hormones. In addition to normalizing my cortisol pattern, I had to reverse low progesterone and bring it back into balance with my estrogen levels.

My healing journey was a 4-year process that involved blood work, symptom checks, natural supplements and dietary changes. Tests were performed every 6-9 months and were used, along with an assessment of my symptoms, to determine progress and well as to make changes to my supplement protocol.

Learn More About Adrenal Fatigue & Hormone Balancing

I cannot stress enough, if you suspect you are having issues with adrenal fatigue or have melasma, find a holistic-minded expert you can trust who will get to the root cause. The cure is not found in treating the symptom with bleaching creams or lightening treatments. To learn more about how important hormone balance is, I recommend reading the book, The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It will change your life!


Before & After – Adrenal Fatigue & Melasma

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  1. Melanie says

    Vanessa, I just listened to your interview. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You have helped me so much with your blog and recipes, etc. I am a type 2 diabetic, and something you said struck me this morning. It was about sleep and BG levels. My daughter has sever sleep apnea so she doesn’t sleep well most nights, therefore, I don’t either. Last night was a good night. I woke up this morning feeling very well rested. Thinking I was going to have a really high BG level, I took my blood sugar and it was much lower than I expected. I had never thought that high BG levels could be because of sleep deprivation. It is always so disappointing to have a high BG in the am when you work really hard to keep everything good the day before.
    You have inspired me!!! Just wanted to say thanks again!!!

  2. Kristie says

    I just listened to your interview, and I definitely saw myself! I had many of the adrenal fatigue symptoms that you had. I am doing much better, but I have a few things that I am still working on with my doctor. One is low progesterone, and I had been on bio identical progesterone (by pill) for many months (maybe a year) and my cycles were still very far apart (pcos). So, I had my mercury fillings (safely!) removed, did a colon cleanse (detox + from the bulk herb store), and stopped taking the progesterone, and my cycles became closer. However, my latest blood labs showed what he said was very low progesterone, and wanted me to go back on the bio identical progesterone. But I knew I had not ovulated yet when he took the labs. So, I was wondering if you knew of optimum progesterone levels before ovulation. I have also considered progesterone cream. The symptoms I would like to be rid of is bloating, puffy face,.and being very fatigued the week before my period. I am also gluten and dairy free. I feel like there are still some pieces to the hormonal puzzle that I need to put together. Thank you for listening!

  3. Susan says

    Thank you so much for your participation in the healthy living seminar. You describes my life to a Tee! Like you I have been trying to handle it on my own. I will continue to do so as I have no money to free up. I have 4 college age kids still living at home and so down sizing is not an option at this time. I thought about getting a job to pay for a Doctor, but then, where would THAT energy come from? :-) I’m already working on a lot of the issues but I know I need a Doc. to address the hormones. Thanks again.

  4. Carrie says

    Yes I am a newbie thanks to The Healthy Life Summit. I identified with you so much it’s scary. I am at my heaviest now after having my 3rd child just three months ago. Practically every symptom you mentioned is me and then some. Another year and a half until I reach forty. But I want to hit it hard and with a big dose of healthy, not hefty. Thank you for sharing your story and your journey.

    • Carrie says

      So to make a bad day worse, my almost 8 year old just plainly asks me if I am going to lose weight? I pretended not to hear him. My husband overheard and asked him what he meant and my son went on to say ‘like pounds, losing pounds’. My heart sank. I know I am not healthy and he obviously knows it too. Your story was definitely inspiring but I really don’t know how I am going to lose 100 lbs, especially while nursing. Sigh. I am trying to get my whole family healthy. So far only our kids are lean, mean energy machines.

  5. Jackie says

    I just discovered this site and the Summit today. Sadly, I can’t view your interview and would really like to hear it and learn more about adrenal fatigue. I am you four years ago! Is there any way to listen to this? Thank you…I’m pouring over your site here instead of working :)

      • Karey says

        I’m really sorry I missed your interview, and the 60% off won’t work for me. Is there another way I can learn more about how you healed? I’m healing from Addison’s Disease, which is final, and life-threatening phase Adrenal Fatigue, as you probably know. Thanks.

        I’m home alone most of the time since my Head Track Coach husband at our university travels a ton. I gave up on house work and a social life six years ago, and I want my live back. I need people and they need me! I need my garden and she needs me! Mostly, I want to be of service in this world and feel God’s healing power in my soul.

  6. Angela says

    Hello Vanessa,
    Thank you so much for sharing. You are an inspiration to us all. I do know know if I have the adrenal fatigue syndrome, but I suspect I may be close, so I know I need to take preventive precautions.
    I am thinking about getting hormone meds (a testosterone blocker?) as prescribed by my doctor in order to regulate my period cycles (which aren’t too irregular, just by only a few days each time), but mostly to lower my testosterone, so that we can lower my level of hersetism.
    Can you tell me, does any and every hormone therapy/birth control pill pose a danger toward developing adrenal syndrome?

  7. Anna says

    Hi Vanessa, so glad to hear that you actually cured your melasma. I have adrenal fatigue and melasma and I want to cry everytime I look in the mirror. I’m going to trythe progesterone cream. How long did it take for yours to go away? I’m desperate! Thanx for sharing your story!

  8. Laura says

    Hi Vanessa

    Thank you for sharing this information. My question what kind of doctor should i go to, to check to see if I have adrenal fatigue? Every doctor i’ve been too look at me, and say, adrenal fatigue? Theres no such thing.

    Its hurtful and hard to actually find someone who cares, and all they say is, oh your tired is because your depressed! I too have melasma, and pigmentation also on other areas of my body, that formed over time after taking birth control.

    I also have been through a large amount of stress in the pass years, one stressful even after the other, where my body has not recovered.

    I was working 6 days a week, 12 hour days, and my body could not take it anymore, so I am no longer working.

    I just would like to now what kind of doctor i should look for to help me, and not just push me away.

    Thanks so much in advance

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      I went to a Naturopathic Doctor. I’ve heard good things about Osteopaths as well. I just discoverd and devoured a new book titled The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It is a must read for every women. Click HERE to check it out. I highly recommend it. This is the book I wish I had read way back when I was trying to resolve adrenal fatigue.

  9. Sherry says

    Hi Vanessa – I’m dealing with the exact same melas a issues that you are. I felt like I was looking at a picture of myself on this page. Did you work with a naturopathic doctor along your journey? Can you let me know exactly which tests you had done with the 2 hyperlinks you provided? They seem to give a lot of choices to choose from? Also who was able to order your food igG food testing..your doctor? I’ve tried every lotion and potion and dermatologist option. I had cortisol testing done last summer and I was told that nothing was off balance except vitamin. B. I was so distraught … spidy senses were (are) telling me that it’s adrenal fatigue but don’t know who or where to turn to to get the right stuff ordered to measure for it!!!!!!!! Help??!!!!!!!!

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      I had/have the premium longevity and vitality along with the stress and resilience. The food testing was not ordered by a doctor, but through the same resource above. Not available in all states. Did you have a 4-point salivary cortisol or just an AM cortisol test?

      • says

        Hello I have been dx’d having adrenal insufficiency and the doc even used the words Addison’s. I have been so ill for the past 6 yrs and want to get back on my feet. I was wondering @ the 4-point salivary test u mentioned, because I have never had one done before. He dx’d me, only after having the Am Cortisol test at two different dates. Should I go and do more testing?..or how should I get my Adrenals to working again, if he(the doc) says that my Adrenals aren’t functioning or producing any hormones. (?) Can I fix them? I have been eating good foods now and taking supplements, but he has me on Hydrocortisone*(3-5mg. morning & 1-5mg. afternoon) Will I ever be able to stop taking this medication and treat this naturally?
        Thank u, Karen

  10. Jen says

    I live near you and was wondering if you could suggest some local doctors who are “friendly” to this type of work-up? I’ve had very bad luck getting doctors to look past symptoms, and all they want to do is put me on this medication or that medication. Not to mention, they want to talk for 10 minutes or less if they can possibly do it. Very frustrating!

    Do you have some local suggestions? I’d love to know who your naturopath is if you don’t mind sharing? Or someone similarly-minded?

  11. Ritz says

    I have small symetric melasma marks on both the cheeks. I’m in early 20’s and over a period of time, they have started to get a bit darker. I have been using apple cidar as I read online that it is quite effective.
    Any little contact with sun makes it dark. I really don’t know what to do. Please tell me what can be done to reduce it to minimal at the earliest without using any medicines?
    Also, what should i do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
    Is there a permanent solution?

  12. SAM says

    Thanks Vanessa for sharing your experience. I have your same problem and I am looking for a specialist who can help me really. We appreciate if you could refer the name of your doctor, to go to him.
    Thank you!

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      Sam, just to be clear, I worked with a naturopathic doctor on specifically resolving adrenal fatigue, not the melasma. The melasma was a consequence of hormones gone awry due to the AF. The doctor I worked with no longer sees patients, but his clinic in Cincinatti, OH does.

  13. lynsey says

    I am reaching out for some help.. I have had acne since i entered my 20s.. wen i was teenager i never broke out.. this leads me to think my hormones have been out of wack for a while.. i have been on atibiotics for it and spiro for about a year in the past. Whilst on spiro i developed the upper lip melasma.. ive been off it now for a few months but it still remains. I get cystic acne on my back and shoulders.. not excessivley but enough that i cant wear wot i want, feel confident.. or not be in pain laying down at night. i also get acne on neck chin and jaw. i have been down about it all lately i went to the doctors to ask for blood tests and hormone checks but she wouldnt test my hormones as she said if my period is on time they are fine? i disagree? i have been taking supplements of my own accord.. msm, vit c, zinc magnesium b6 and folic acid. i have been breaking out more and the melasma is not looking better ontop of that i feel even more depressed have anxiety and irritable. please help. i dont kno what to do next.

  14. lynsey says

    i also have no sex drive and do not feel connected to my partner, because i feel so bad about myself. im only 26, a year and a half ago i was very confident and bubbly and very loving person. i feel like i can cry at the drop of a hat everyday…

  15. Courtney says

    I have been on about 4 different birth controls in the past year. I had hormonal acne and they kept switching my prescriptions since one would “fix” the acne, but it would lower my libido, or fix my libido, but break me out. I’ve been on Yaz, Orthotricyclen, Giavani, and now Seasonale. The past month I started noticing these dark patches on my skin on my face. They are mainly on my forehead, above my upper lip, and somewhat on my cheeks. I hate wearing makeup all the time but I hate the way it looks. I stopped taking birth control pills a few days ago and hope to stay off of them and use an alternative form of birth control. Do you think that this will cure my melasma or that I will have to go to the doctor? I’m staying out of the sun but I don’t know what else to do.

  16. Gina Brown says

    Vanessa, thank you so much for giving me an answer that I have been praying for and searching for since 2006. My daughter will not let me embarrass her anymore in public by holding an umbrella for the sun. My husband is so upset with me because I am so fatigued that I can hardly get out of bed some days. My face looks like it’s dirty and it has hair on the upper and lower lip and chin and neck and now the backs of my arms. My neck hurts all of the time. I have had 2 MRIs to rule out cervical problems and brain problems. My husband is an advanced diabetic who is very close to getting his legs amputated (he had a heart attack last year). I am constantly upset and stressed and my son secretly videotaped me in several tirades to show my parents. They did not speak to me for four months (they love their grandchildren). I was diagnosed with elevated cortisol and the endo said it wasn’t Cushing’s so he dropped it and said there is nothing that he could do for me and that maybe I have PCOS. I am now being treated for PCOS and am taking Metformin. It has been very hard for me to lose weight but I haven’t had table sugar for 2 months! I am 135 pounds and 5’7″. Every time I have a blood test, a doctor will tell me that I am deficient in Vit D, Iron and Calcium. They ask me if I am a vegetarian. I eat read meat at least twice a week and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I am so very fatigued and I think I might have a malabsorption problem. The last doctor (new doctor) told me that my thyroid was great but that I should be on supplements. I told her that I have been on supplements for 2 years. I am 46 years old and have never had any serious health problems other than petit mal seizures for which I take medicine. Now, I have very low blood pressure, elevated cortisol, PCOS, iron anemia, deficiency in VIT D and I skipped two periods in a row this year.. Now, I know that I am just stressed out …who knew? I probably have adrenal insufficiency that caused the elevated cortisol and affected my blood pressure and sleep patterns and, eventually, led to PCOS and unbelievable weight gain and hirsutism.

  17. Shannon says

    Thank you for your article! I am excited to read that you were able to cure your melasma. I just got it this year and it’s spreading pretty quickly. I also wonder if I am experiencing Adrenal Fatigue and have also thought about having my progesterone tested. The only thing I am a bit apprehensive about is the costs of the two tests you recommended – over $1000 together…do you think it would be possible to only have progesterone tested and treat that to make it a bit more affordable?

    • says

      Yes, the lab testing can be expensive, however when it comes to adrenal fatigue, it influences more than just sex hormones or cortisol levels. Blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, thyroid issues, leaky gut, food intolerances, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, are all common symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

  18. Staci says

    Hello, Vanessa! I know many people commenting here have been experiencing their own similar issues and have found similarities with your story. So do I! During 2010 to late 2011, after years of dieting and major ups and downs, I reached my weightloss goal and lost 120 lbs. However within the 6 months that followed, I was finding it impossible to keep weight off. I kept bouncing up and down 15 lbs. I was experiencing terrible symptoms. 2 visits to my doctor and no help from them but shoulder shrugging left me feeling helpless. Fast forward to today…I am up almost 35 lbs. despite having a healthy lifestyle. I walk, strength train and do some cardio circuits. I eat fairly healthy. But my weight keeps creeping up. It is so frustrating. I am located up near Duluth, MN so I may look into the recommended doctor you suggested to another person in Burnesville. I just want to feel better. And the melasma issue you spoke about is what tied me to your conclusions as well because I have this on my face and I thought they were just sun spots or age spots. This is just such an overwhelming process to begin. Thank you for sharing. Does the hormone book you recommend walk you through the first steps to recovery?

  19. says

    A friend sent me this page. The only thing that keeps me from being confident is my skin. It is the first thing that anyone sees and when they are looking at me, they are looking at it.

    Every dermatologist I have seen asks if I took birth control ever in my life. I did… about 15 years ago. This has been around for the past 10-12 years.

    I also had thyroid cancer in a PERFECTLY functioning thyroid in 2011, it was removed January 7, 2011. I had monitored my levels very closely. Recently I had my cortisol level tested and it was well within range. “MY” Normal is close to hyper, not sure if the cortisol was “average” or close to average on “MY” average. Wish I had had that tested before the surgery.

    Anyhow… about to read this for the umpteenth time and take notes. Something has got to give. I hate taking pics with my babies bc of how ugly my skin is. I feel trapped and alone.. and everyone tries to be nice and say “Ohhh I thought they were just freckles.” bullS&@!

  20. says

    I m fana ,,from pakistan,,,,
    I m so worry about may horriable patches of melasma on my nose,uper lips and both cheks……u no pakistan is topical country,,,in the summer season my face affacted mostly,,,face skin remain red,,,,,,one thing i want to tell u that my english is not sounded,,,,because my mother language is urdu,,,so if any mistkae in dis reply then kindly dont mind,,,,,,pls tell me what i do ,,i hve used hyderconin,even plus but result is temorary,,,,,,i m very sad,,,,,my skin was very healthy glowing skin but now,,,,,,,,,,suggest me what i do???

  21. uw says

    I’ve been on the pill for a month and noticed a darkening on my chin which I am pretty sure is the start of melasma. I’ve stopped taking the pills (combination of estrogen and pro). Do you think switching to a progesterone only pill would still cause melasma? Thanks

  22. Kyung says

    Is that really your skin in the after? It’s so hard to believe…you don’t even look like you have at least a few freckles which most people do…I wish my skin was clear like that…

  23. B says

    Dear Vanessa,
    How long did it take (months, years) for your melasma to fade once you started treatment for adrenal fatigue? I recently had all my bloodwork done (to test for adrenal fatigue) and my doctor says that everything is in the “normal” range. I have melasma on my cheeks and forehead and it has gotten increasingly worse over the last 5 years. I stay out of the sun as much as possible and ALWAYS wear high SPF sunscreen. Like many here I feel frustrated by the persistence of the melasma. But I am very inspired/hopefuly by your story. Thanks in advance for any insight!


      • B says

        Hi Vanessa,
        I just got the last of my test results back–I believe my progesterone is low and my cortisol is high. I think there is my problem…now it’s just a matter of my figuring out how to even out/balance those levels. Thanks for your blog–it is so helpful.

  24. tanya says

    I’m dx with FMS/CFS I began to notice brown spots in 2003 very minor By 2008 the spots got worse giving me a look as though I have dirt on my cheeks nose I wonder if adrenal dysfunctional is connected to FMS/CFS (fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue syndrome) Other reason for Browning on the face & body may be related to over exposure to EMF/RF As I am intentionally being assaulted by my neighbors I thought the spots were totally related to health issues now I come to find out their is a very sick. Network of people electronically assaulting women & kids as retaliation I have some raw footage of my story at you tube Rub a you tube search And no I’m no felon or crazy person My ex hubby & former la lord are retaliating for personal reasons “targeting” me Yes I believe the spots maybe related to health issues but the intentional burning scarring of my skin face & body is nothing but hate at its worse Vanessa..can you please recommend a good doctor in orange county CA? I would like to have me back again. Ty

  25. Katherine says

    As I have read through your brief article on your experience with melasma, I have tears steaming down my face. What you described above is almost identical to the emotions I have felt in having this skin condition. I too find it hard to believe that the only answer is to wear sun screen and big hats for the rest of my life. I finally had the opportunity to see a dermotologist, and I was so hopeful that he could fix my skin, unfortunately I was told to try yet another harsh cream and wear sun screen everyday. My family and friends do not understand what it is like to look in the mirror and not recognize the face staring back. People just politely tell me, “it’s not that bad.” I do not even spend much time in direct sunlight, yet I have this problem. It is hard for me to wrap my head around it, and alone is a good way to describe my feelings. I am 30 yrs old with two kids and have never had my hormone levels checked. I have often wondered if I should have them evaluated, but I guess I didn’t realize what a huge impact a little imbalance could cause. Thank you so much for sharing this information. You have given me a small sliver of hope and a new direction in achieving a solution.

  26. Christina says

    Reading this article made me cry….because there is hope. I have SEVERE melasma. It is on the 3/4 of my face. I have had so much testing done, but everything shows normal. I only see naturopaths, and even saw a naturopathic dermatologist that ran some panels. I am seeing another natro doc in a few weeks. She is known to be one of the best in our area. I am hoping I can finally pin point what is “off” and address it. I will definitely purchase the book you recommended. Thank you for giving me hope, Melasma has been devastating for me, even though my husband loves me just the way I am. You are beautiful by the way…with or without the melasma!

    • says

      You sound just like me. I am doing the urine panel next. And honestly I would be thrilled if there was a drug they could put me on. I already lead a VERY healthy and active life… and the malasma is still there. I love my eyes, but I wont even look at the rest of my face. My children dont need to see me so upset over my looks.

  27. Anna says

    I just wanted to follow up. I left a comment a few months ago about how long it took for your Melasma to go away. I’ve done an IgG test for food allergies (I’m intolerant to all dairy/gluten and eggs) and I’ve been using Natural progesterone cream. (I didn’t have any tests done, but I’ve been under severe stress the last couple of years so i think it can only be good!)
    It’s been four months now and my melasma is about 40% lighter, it’s going slow but I know i should be patient. I do believe that a holistic approach is the best…diet, lifestyle and hormones! But I would not have worked it out without your blog Vanessa, so thank you so much for sharing your story! Just thought I let all the other women know that there is hope!

    • B says

      Hi Anna,

      I am curious, in addition to cutting out the dairy/gluten, eggs, if you had to cut anything else out of your diet? Do you for instance still have caffeine in your diet?

      I did have extensive blood work done a couple of months ago and my progesterone was slightly low and my cortisol levels were slightly high. I have been using progesterone cream for a couple of months, as well as some other “hormone balancing” herbs, and have really cut back my caffeine (my coffee is so thinned out with water my husband calls it “dirty water”!) So far I haven’t noticed my melasma lightening, but as you said I know it takes time. I am curious about the caffeine, and even sugar consumption.

      Thanks for your post, it does give the rest of us hope! :-)

      • Anna says

        Hey B, I know, it’s nice to know when people make progress…it gives one hope. I am a bit of a coffee junkie, so I still have my 2 cups a day…and strong as well…no dishwasher for this girl! I drink a green smoothie every morning though and I think that helps the liver so maybe that has helped the melasma as well. The biggest difference I saw though was when I cut out the stuff I’m intolerant to. I also took L-glutamine at the time, but stopped as it made me constipated, but I would really recommend it. It heals the gut. I still try to eat less sugar, but I’m not pedantic about it (been on the candida diet for a month though…)! The melasma is definitely getting better, but it’s only been 4 months so I’m patient, remember Vanessa also said it took about a year to go away.

        • B says

          Thanks so much for replying Anna! I remain hopeful that if I am patient and keep doing the same things to balance my hormones, my melasma will gradually begin to fade as well. Because trying to fix it from the “outside” is a losing battle; at least for me because I’ve tried lots of “external” fixes. Thanks again!

  28. JD says

    These comments are never posted. Are they deleted or there is something wrong with the system.

    I’m simply trying to find out if all or any of this is applicable to men who randomly got this condition.

    • says

      I find that they are not replied to very fast, but not deleted, JD. And I didnt know you could randomly get Melasma. I know I have it and it wont go away and I am doing a cortisol test today and tomorrow to find out if that might be my problem. Its not a skin condition that comes and goes. I would check to see if you have a yeasty skin infection.

      • JD says

        Thanks for the response. For whatever reason, I had tried to comment a few times and it wasn’t being posted.

        I say I “randomly” got the condition (or so the doctor’s have claimed this is what it is) because it seemingly appeared out of the clear blue after never having these type of issues with the sun or pigmentation. I did go through a period of intense stress during a family crisis. This condition seemed to happen a short time afterward or even coincided. I’ve essentially been told to stay out of the sun or it will get worse. That’s a terrible option (though I’m currently adhering to the advice) because I love outdoor activities. The problem becomes more complex because it doesn’t seem that sunscreen helps and some of them actually make the condition even worse. What I’ve noted is that it sometimes gets worse (or spread) even without sun, so the while the sun can make it worse, it doesn’t seem to be the underlying cause.

        Anyway, all of the information here is about estrogen dominance, etc. I’ve read that periods of high stress and lack of sleep can cause imbalance in the male system. As was mentioned, it’d make sense that the fundamental cause is similar for men and women. Some people on here have mentioned progesterone cream, but that may have very different side effects for men.

        If there’s any guidance or suggestions, it would be appreciated. Would be nice to enjoy the outdoors again…even if in a modified way. Thanks for any help.

    • says

      Interesting that you think I have a ton of make-up on as I am wearing very little. In fact I was wearing the same amount of make-up in both the before and after. I wear no coverage foundation, just a little moisturizer and a bronzing powder. At any rate, I did snap a picture of my naked skin in broad daylight as well at the end of the blog post.

  29. Veronica k. says

    Let me start by saying I am happy for you having been able to manage your melasma & AD. That’s wonderful. I am a long time sufferer of melasma & have spent a ridiculous amount of time researching melasma and several thousands of $ on products, specialists, treatments, & continuos management. At best results are only temporary lightening. I know first hand how exhausting, flustrating this condition is, not to mention the impact it has on self esteem and everyday life. While you do have some validity to your findings of melasma and AF link. I am definitely skeptical of information and claims to have cured/reversing your melasma and whether you are genuine with your Intentions of helping others or promoting the sales of your interview and blogs, Books, procedures. Some skepticism comes from the FACT that Melasma CANNOT be cured only treated/ managed internally and externally. Another is the updated before & after photos; Before photo in summer, obvious it will be darker, after photo was taken in winter, when melasma is not as noticeable and can be covered/ concealed more easily. I am also curious how you covered your freckles and the mole on left side of chin in the after photo, or was that reversed as well? another comcern was reading your responses when asked for contact information of your provider, you seemed to be elusive to the question, responding from the Dr. No longer sees patients, he is not local, etc. etc. I become concerned due to the sensitivity of melasma & individuals are so desperate for answers or help as I have been myself with melasma & given false hope by someone who is not only trying capitalize on others dispair to self promote but stands to financially gain. Due diligence; there are a handful of reputable sites that are truly sincere and due NOT promote products but are real people sharing real experiences with their melasma. I guess what I’m trying to say is it is very hard to believe you and your naturopathic doc reversed/ cured melasma, yet world renowned scientists and the rest of the world have yet to discover!?

    • says

      I shared my experience with melasma for those who are open to it. I am a real, live, caring and genuine person. I have a large facebook following, where my character and intentions to help others is evident. Healthy Living How To is a site dedicated to all things healthy living, not just melasma. There is no shortage of pictures of me, whether that be on here, Facebook or Instagram (which you can follow in the sidebar), I have not hid my face or skin. You can’t hide melasma under make-up, it looks like you have dirty skin. If you want to scrutinize me for earning money by doing something I love, well then, that’s your choice. Do you work for free? I realize Western/conventional medicine (which I am highly skeptical of) has not found a cure, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. That can be said about lots of diseases the population at large is inflicted with of which I believe there are cures. The American Diabetes Association would say there is no cure for Type II diabetes, however, I know many of my followers have cured it with a low-carb lifestyle, combined with exercise and natural supplements. I went to my share of conventionally trained doctors trying to get to the bottom of my symptoms (later diagnosed as Adrenal Fatigue by my ND), each of them wanted to diagnose me with depression and insomnia. They were happy to write a script for an anti-depressant and a sleeping aid and a referral to a dermatologist but would hear nothing of testing my hormones. In my heart of hearts I knew this was not right. I didn’t want band-aids, I wanted to get to the root cause and find a solution, a cure. Many doctors don’t recognize Adrenal Fatigue as being an actual affliction and they too are highly trained medical professionals, perhaps even “world renowned”. So was the adrenal fatigue I experienced and recovered from somehow made up in my head? Does a sleeping pill cure insomnia? No, it treats the condition. If the insomnia is caused by elevated evening cortisol and you are able to lower the cortisol and subsequently sleep well than the insomnia is cured. Through the process of healing and recovering from adrenal fatigue, the melasma on my face resolved as I got to the root cause which is explained in the blog post. I am cognizant of the platform I have been blessed with and do not take it lightly.

  30. JD says

    I suppose I echo some of the skepticism expressed by “Veronica K.” Believe me, a lot of people WANT to believe and you are most definitely right in saying you have been blessed with that platform. The problems I’ve seen are that there isn’t much specificity. And, of course, a financial incentive sparks some natural skepticism.

    If I may sum up some of what I’ve read on here, it’s basically:

    THE CAUSE: Melasma has a root cause (seems sensible enough).
    Vanessa’s root cause was AF (ok).
    AF caused hormonal imbalances.
    These imbalances caused abnormal spikes in MSH.
    Voila –> Hyperpigmented skin seen in the before picture.

    THE SOLUTION: address the root cause (seems sensible enough).
    Vanessa began to change her lifestyle, diet and use creams, etc., to balance her hormones.
    Voila –> In a relatively short time (I believe 1 year or so), most of the pigmentation was resolved?

    I know people who’ve been at this for nearly a decade. Personally, I seem to have gotten this condition about 2 years ago and have seemingly tried everything (including these alternative methods). Regardless, if hormones was Vanessa’s root issue and that was resolved through balancing, that doesn’t speak to the disappearance of existing marks. The before picture seems legitimate enough that 12 or even 18 months of skin turnover would be difficult for the skin to be so perfectly even, no? The after picture looks like a full shade lighter skin tone overall, so it’s fair to question the objective measures.

    There isn’t any discussion of skin lighteners – natural or otherwise.
    There isn’t any discussion of sunscreens – physical, natural or otherwise.
    There isn’t objectivity on photos – different lighting in different seasons.
    There isn’t any discussion (that I’ve seen) of ongoing treatment.

    It’s simply —> Find Root Cause –> Address Root Cause –> Relatively quick solution. Surely, that’s simplistic enough that people will accept.

    Where I see the danger is that, like Vanessa K., false hope is seriously troubling. There are plenty of people who have been at this for a seeming eternity.

    This is NOT a shot at Vanessa and I don’t mind she makes money off this at all. Great for her. This is really just an attempt at a healthy dose of balance to protect others from false hope.

    I hope this is posted.

  31. Ellie says


    Through means I am unable to recall at this time, I “stumbled upon” the Healthy Life Summit back in March. Being one that has been wrestling (to varying degrees) with adrenal fatigue now for several years (the worst being the last 4-5), I was in tears listening to your interview. FINALLY, someone else knew what I was living with and experiencing on a daily basis. FINALLY someone else who could articulate. FINALLY someone else … that means I’m not going crazy. There as a flicker of hope. I tried to sent the link to my Maximized Living doctor who has been journeying with me, but it said it had expired. After that, I had completely lost my breadcrumb trail that led me to the summit to begin with. Thanks to another trail I am unable to recount, I have found “you” again. (I didn’t know your name, what the Summit was called, who sponsored it, anything!) (sigh)

    I tried the link you provided in this post for the interview, and found the $199 fee for the 35 audio files. With all candidness, I do not have the funds to purchase such a bundle, and frankly really am just desiring to have yours to play for those trying to journey alongside me. Is there any other way at all that I am able to obtain a copy of that interview?

    Also, after thousands and thousands of dollars (in the mainstream medical route) I did end up being diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, but my journey of healing looked more that a mod-podge of people God was bringing across my path to take me to that “next step.” It took about two years until I felt like what I remember a little bit of ME felt like. One good day grew to two, and two grew to about seven (out of a month time frame). Eventually I had energy again. I felt alive again for the first time in many, many years. This LIFE lasted about ten months. I felt like I “relapsed” that took about eight months to recover from (though I don’t feel like I’ve ever fully got there), and now here I am again (but this time feeling just as bad as I did when I exhausted all of the specialist in central Florida who all referred me to the Mayo Clinic).

    I was exercising (burst or surge training) 5-6 days/week (I try to do some now, but collapse on the floor with tears and frustration that my body doesn’t have what it needs to do so); I still eat a grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and mostly sugar-free (the exception is a trip to get frozen yogurt every once in a while with friends), and have been doing so for at least three years. I don’t drink alcohol. I ferment some veggies & salsa, I brew my own Kombucha, I use only non-toxic, homemade personal and home care products, and I am under maintenance spinal/nervous system care. All of these things have been a normal part of my life for a minimum of two years.

    Still – the “freckle mustache”, large dark spots on my forehead and all along my cheeks – very, very visible. My energy is gone. I feel what might be akin to depression – emotionless and melancholy. I eat super well and get whatever exercise in that I can – still nothing but gaining weight. Cystic acne now plagues my painful face. I have little to no appetite. Bowel movements are a faint memory. Brainfog and short-term memory loss have taken up residence. Waves of irritability overtake me out of nowhere like a ninja. I don a large belly big that is sometimes distended enough I fear someone asking me how far along I am. (I’ve gone from a size 4/6 – 12. My skin feels irritable – I don’t want anything hugging it even remotely snug. etc. etc. ETC.

    After all that, my questions are three:

    1. Is there anyway at all I may get a copy of that interview – it’s a source of hope for me as well as what I hope will be a valuable tool for my family to be able to hear from someone else what I am experiencing.

    2. Years ago the journey that led me to those ten glorious months of feeling on top of the world, some of those non-mainsteam “doctors” were out of state. I do not have the funds or ability to get to them. Can you help point me in some direction with some starting point? A particular office? A particular brand of supplements I could be asking around to see who carries them? Anything?

    3. An acquaintance of mine who studied estrogen toxicity, also called estrogen dominance, had an experience very, very similar to mine. She was able to work through it naturally by doing an estrogen cleanse and restoring her hormones. Do you know much about estrogen toxicity and the ways it may overlap with adrenal fatigue? As a single gal in a tough economy, funds aren’t exactly readily available. I cannot continue to live like this, so I’m trying to discern which route to pursue and in what ways God will help provide for me on said journey.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for taking the time to read all of this.

    • says

      1. I have no control over the Village Green Network interview. You can contact them and see about getting the single recording. I don’t even have a copy of it myself.
      2. I do not have a network of referral sources — I understand the frustration of finding a care partner — alternative medicine is almost unheard of in the state I live in which is why I had to look out of state as well. And yes, it costs money. I have health insurance, but have paid out of pocket for any health expenses for at least the last five years as integrative medicine is not covered by insurance. Perhaps look into connecting with Dr. Sara Gottfried or one of her practitioners.
      3. I have not done any research into estrogen toxicity.

    • Kristie says

      Have you considered mercury toxicity? (Or maybe some other metal?) That can lead to hormonal and digestive problems. Dr. Pompa seems to know about that kind of thing and he does phone consultations. I had my fillings safely removed (make sure to do your research to find a dentist that knows how to do it safely). It was definitely a healing step for me.

      • Kristie says

        Also the adrenals are nourished by carbohydrates. I have read of quite a few stories of people getting adrenal issues after being on the gaps diet (grain free) for a while. But if you have gut healing to do that might not be an option for you right now. Basically it depends on what is the root problem. That would help you to know what to target for healing first. By the way I am a Christian and the Bible explains alot about God wanting us healed. I also found it helpful to listen to ministries that taught about healing, and have healings happen under their ministry ( Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Andrew Wommack etc.)

  32. Sandra says

    I just ordered Dr. Wilson’s adrenal fatigue quartet . Was confused about ordering, with so many products available. All I need now is the cream you used. Where is that from?

  33. Hope says

    :-) so glad I’ve found this website! I’ve been unsuccessfully fighting melasma since 2003. Wow, I didn’t realized until now that’s over 10 years ago . . . how sad. Most things I’ve read online just talks about treating the symptoms with lotions and cream, and I think I’ve tried almost everything out there already without results. I’m to the point of giving up and resigning myself to this. Maybe this will work (keeping my fingers crossed). Unfortunately my job was eliminated a few weeks ago, so really no funds to do the testings, etc. But will definitely try it once I get back on my feet financially!

  34. Molly says

    How do I stop melasma from spreading? It started on my forehead and now I see couple dark small spots under my eye. I recently got tested and my test results showed low glucose, low vitamin d, low progesterone, abnormal cortisol rhytm and adrenal function. Is there any way to stop this before it gets worse? I did see that your progesterone was low and you used a patch. I am taking Progestaid to balance my progesterone and estrogen ratio. Do you think once the ratio is even my melasma will stop and fade? I am so down because of it.

  35. lynsey says

    Vanessa, what would you suggest on the dosage of progesterone cream. the bottle indicates 1-2 pumps a day which is the equivalent of 40mg but there is a website with a lady called Wray white who has been using it for 10 years and recommends 100-200 mg a day as anything less just brings out estrogen dominance symptoms?

  36. karlita says

    Hi Vanessa
    Just wondering, how and what did you take to normalise your cortisol (adrenal) hormones? along with your progesterone and estrogen dominance.

      • karlita says

        Thanks for that…just wanted to know if you took any hormone replacement for the adrenals eg adrenal cortex or hydro cortisone replacement for it…but sounds like your main focus on hormone replacement was progesterone and estrogen and nourishing the adrenals with supplements. Good to know the adrenals can take the hormone changes. I am in the same boat – from being progesterone dominate and estrogen deficient i am now estrogen dominant and progesterone deficient. But my body can’t take any progesterone – becoming sensitive to my own progesterone it seems. I know it’s all putting strain on my already dysfunctional adrenals and thyroid. And i know it’s the hormonal fluctuations.And my face is getting those lovely brown stains everywhere just to prove it,. But I enjoyed reading how focusing on hormones as one of the main stressors of ongoing adrenal fatigue can help the adrenals recover.

  37. karlita says

    sorry Vanessa, also meant to ask also, did you find you had an underlying infection also?…seems most people with adrenal fatigue have underlying infections that go with their condition eg candida or parasites. Though this could be more prevalent in people with complete adrenal exhaustion aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

  38. Julie says

    I wanted to know if you did any skin peels or treatments once you got your hormones balanced to get rid of the remaining pigment/melasma?

  39. debbie says

    Hi Vanessa
    I just was listening to you pod cast on fall into health. I can completely relate to your story. I just completely crashed but I did have symtoms first and didn’t go to the doctor but took the basics like probiotics ect. After the crash I was diagnosed with CFS and fibro. It’s been 3 years when it started and I was 55.
    I was caught in a trap too and couldn’t lose weight. I lost 35 lbs the first year with all of the chemical sensitivity, light noise all that you mentioned. I keep losing weight and reaching plateus and my stomach feels OK now. I am so much better now but still have days when I can’t function and still getting used to leaving the house. It’s like learning all over again. I go to chiro, naturapath, hormone from an integrative health. The thing that finally got me to the total next level is doing a process called Somatic Experiencing. It’s working on trauma stored in the body and nervous system. I think its really caused by ptsd. I’ve done spiritual work for 30 years but nothing worked like this. Thanks for your sharing your experience. It’s helpful to hear from others who I can relate to about this amazing experience.

  40. Elizabeth west says

    This exact thing happened to me during my recent pregnancy. I was diagnosed with a blood mutation called mthfr mutation. Its a folic acid and b vitamin deficency. I have no energy whatsoever and its difficult. The dark spots on mu face are still visible but not as much. Its difficult while being pregnant you already feel down and it raised huge flags for me. I’m thirty yrs old.

  41. mel says

    Hi there :)
    I do not have the same thing you had, I have perioral dermatitis and was wondering if you read about that at all in any of your research? I know it must be hormonal because it was suppressed when I was pregnant and nursing; which would lead me to think that it is also related to progesterone.

  42. Grace says


    Thank you for the information. My daughter just turned 12 and has had a “dirty” patch on her right cheek for about 4 years now. It takes up most of her cheek. Could this be the same problem? Starting at the age if 8?

    Thank you in advance!


  43. Shonte says

    I am So Glad I found Your Website, You Just Confirmed This Hormone and Melasma Correlation. I am 45 and Going Through Peri Menopause, The Melasma Became Worse
    Over The Years I Kept Telling My Family I Think It Has Something To Do With My Hormones.

    I Always Say, When You Know better You Do Better. I Will Be Jumping on this ASAP, Starting With Bio Identical Hormones and Testing.

    Thank You So Much

  44. sasha says

    Dear Vanessa

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. You inspired me. I currently have melasma and I too was told to stay out of sun etc but no advice to fix the cause, just stuff to mask the symptom. I am wondering – now that you have healed within (dealt with the cause) can you expose your face to the sun without getting the pigmentation? Do you wear sunscreen on your face every day? Hats? I want to heal my body and hope in the future I don’t need to stress about covering my face like I currently do.

    Thanks again,

  45. Glenda Rojas Gamonet says

    Hola Vanessa, te escribo desde Peru, he leido que eres mitad mexicana, espero puedas responderme en español., es una esperanza haberte encontrado, tengo un melasma severo mis manchas con este verano, se han convertido en color cafe y la verdad me siento fatal. Hoy sola en casa me puse a buscar todo producto para el melasma encontre hasta unas pastillas llamadas PYNOCARE de origen australino dicen….. pero circula por Thailandia e India…. la verdad no me da confiabilidad.
    Crees tu que seria recomendable ir a un Ginecologo especialista en hormonas ó a un Endocrinólogo

      • Glenda Rojas Gamonet says

        I wrote from Peru, i have a several melasma on my cheeks, seached about melasma in web, i found a pill from India origin Australian explained……..” PYNOCARE”…. really, i am very, very near to buy blindly….. What do think about this? Also, i want to know your advice is better for me go to Endrocrinologist or better ginecologist specialist in hormone??? Sorry, As Celia Cruz said “my english is not very good looking …” Kisses.

  46. Molly says

    Hi Vanessa.
    Did you eat any nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts) and different types of beans during your Melasma recovery? I am not sure if I should take them out of my diet as they contain a lot of copper and high copper levels might be also linked to melasma..

  47. Nadine Smart says

    Hi Vanessa, I’m encouraged by your determination and success to get healthy. I recently had gone to my Dr. for severe pain in my adrenal gland area but did NOT want to self diagnose anything. As I read more about adrenal fatigue I couldn’t help but speculate that is what I had/have. After going to my primary Dr. and having blood work, ct scan, breath test, urine test, and another test that checked for bacteria growth, they still don’t know what it is/was causing the pain. It’s been a month now since my visit to the Dr. and still no answers, but after reading your articles about this disorder I started on my own quest for relief and cure. I’m happy to say that with eliminating sugary foods, and wheat products, and taking in more vegetables, and whole grains, my body has either healed itself or is still in the progress of healing due to the fact the pain is almost undetectable, only with fresh juiced fruits do I feel pain in that area anymore. Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’ve been a blessing.


  48. Kim says

    I have melasma and recently discovered yellow laser treatments supposedly completely takes care of the discoloration but is only available @ 4 locations in US. Has anyone heard of this??


  49. Leila says

    Hi Vanessa,

    Thank you for sharing your story! You are truly an inspiration. I have been suffering from melasma for almost 7 years now. Within the last 2-3 years I discovered that I had a very large thyroid cyst (benign fortunately) which I had removed along with one of my thyroid glands. Shortly thereafter, I had a baby… Needless to say, I’m pretty sure that my hormones are out of whack. I’ve been to a couple doctors that have said my thyroid levels are fine (aka nothing to worry about)….but I know there is something awry. I never thought to get tested for adrenal fatigue (although, i did mention adrenal ‘failure’ to my last dr. to which he scoffed at). So I have an appointment scheduled next week with a Naturopathic Dr. (and I started reading your book recommendation by SG this weekend). Anyways, my question is, when you had melasma – did you also happen to have hypo pigmented (white) spots in between? Within the past few months I started to get small white spots that are spreading across my forehead in between my melasma. The dermatologists that I’ve seen are pretty stumped by this and they’ve only been able to perscribe things like retin A, salicylic acid pads, kojic acid compounds (and previously i was trying hydroquinone) that all seem to be making the issue worse! Well, just thought I would ask…Fingers crossed that I can have a similar success story to yours and finally start to reverse my melasma/balance my hormones (and my life:-)!

    • Katherine says

      Leila- I have have small white spots within my melisma as well. Unfortunately I have no idea why either. However, I recently had my blood tested for all of my hormone levels and then some, and none of my levels are askew. The only thing that was off was my vit. D levels. Makes sense b/c I live in Germany, and try to stay out of the sun when we have some. Please post again if you find any explanation for the spots. BTW you should try to steer clear of hydroquinone anyway. It is banned all over Europe b/c it causes cancer.

      • Leila says

        Hi Katherine,

        I have also had a vitamin D deficiency in the recent past, which I’ve read could cause white spots. My vit. D levels are normal now that I take a supplement, but the spots still persist. They seemed to appear when I stopped nursing about 6 months ago…and (yes) I stopped using hydroquinone when I started noticing more white spots. I really wish that I had never used HQ at all b/c I’m afraid it may have made my issue worse:(

        Hi Vanessa,

        I just received my hormone level test results back and my progesterone is low. I know you’ve mentioned that your regimen included progesterone cream – did that help with your treatment? My naturopathic dr. thought this could be an option, but she wanted to research more before prescribing.

        Thank you,

    • says

      I did not take hydrocortisone. I worked with a naturopath on a supplement and healing protocol. Did consistent blood testing along the way. And adjusted as necessary. Also made some dietary and lifestyle changes.

  50. Max says

    It would be helpful if your article above said the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Im a man with melasma so can’t use makeup to coverup…Never was in the sun a lot and obviously not pregnant; its been a nightmare and I’ve had the same photo experience…everyone tells me its nothing and i see photos and feel like I look like my forehead belongs on Gorbachev

  51. ruta says

    Hi Vanessa, I’m suffering from melasma as well. I have tried everything…laser, peels, bleaching. Nothing worked! When I looked at your photo, I got some hope…. Please tell me more information how to fight it!
    Thank you

  52. Ash says

    What supplements(vitamins/minerals) did you focus on mainly to get your hormones back in shape? Also, roughly what was the daily dosage?

    Thank you! Your help is much appreciated.

  53. Lea says

    Hello, I have terrible melasma and was grateful to have found your site. I’m still in the very early ages of starting to understand hormone imbalances and wondering if you could provide some advise on vitamins I could get. I’m seeing a naturopath soon who will hopefully help with the hormone test. Look forward to hearing from you

  54. Diana says

    Hi, Vanessa,

    Hi, Vanessa!
    I’m 40 years old, I suffering from melasma. 5 years past and my melasma it’s worse. I belive the adrenal fatigue is the answer, but I have a long way until I see any results. Please, tell me if it’s possible, what I should never eat.
    I’m from eastern Europe and for me, to get the Sara’s Gottfried book is almost impossible.
    Thank you very much.

  55. Molly says

    Hello, During your treatment did you also treat candida or leaky gut? Did you have a healthy thyroid? Once your hormones were balanced how many months after that did you see the melasma fade?

  56. Kelsey says

    Hi Vanessa,

    Now that you have treated your hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue, are you able to go in the sun without further developing melasma, or does the sun still trigger it?

    Thank you,

  57. Jenni says


    I’m 35 and have suffered with melasma for over 10 years (although I didn’t know that’s what it was initially) I can trace it back to a period of extreme stress during a relationship breakdown and five boits of tonsillitis in a year. I tried all sorts of creams and expensive laser treatment before coming to the conclusion it was an internal imbalance. Having had no skin problems in my teens, in my early 30s I stopped taking any form of contraceptive as I knew it was mucking up my system. Ialso started to suffer from cystic acne so by now I was doubly depressed about my appearance! In July 2014 I found your website and it all started to make sense. I have since found a herbal medicine practitioner and have recently had a stool test which revealed an imbalance in bacteria and more crucially extremely low Siga levels. I also have allergies which have developed over the same period of time as my melasma so the low Siga explains a lot and as you know is also linked to adrenal fatigue. I can have eight hours sleep and still be tired with puffy eyes so I’m now in the process of conducting a saliva hormone test, adrenal function test and a food allergy test. After years of knowing that something wasn’t right I finally feel like Im getting somewhere in understanding my body’s problems and feel positive that I can turn it around. I really just wanted to say a huge thank you for your very informative article for helping get me on the right track to recovery. I will keep you updated on my progress!

    • Jenn C says

      You sound just like me! I have even dealing with melasma for 5 years and have been working with a naturopathic doc to find the root cause. I kow just how you feel. It can be a very lonely feeling to deal with melasma and I’m just trying to keep my head up and keep working on it.


      • Jenni says


        It’s good to hear you’re on the right path too, it is so frustrating when you’re trying to get to the root, but I’ve never accepted that I’m stuck with it!

        I’ve had my hormone and adrenal tests back now and I have confirmed adrenal fatigue and high progesterone. I also had a food intolerance test done and have been sticking to my new diet religiously……I haven’t felt so good in years! I Know it’s not going to be an overnight cure but it feels fantastic to be on the right track! My herbal practitioner thinks that the food intolerance may have been adding more stress to my adrenals.

        I hope you’re doing well too, good luck and stay positive! It is very lonely and it’s so nice to share the journey with people who understand :-)

  58. Meredith Jacobs says

    Hello Vanessa,
    I am 24 and suffereing with melasma. I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this post. You have inspired me to seek help for a naturopath in my area and she sat with me for 2 hours talking about adrenal fatigue hormone imbalance and thyroid problems which I have all of. This skin condition has caused me to experience depression and social isolation. Im hoping through my journey to heal it naturally I will be able to reverse this issue. Again your post could not have been more helpful to me. Thank you for sharing your story!


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