Skin discoloration
by LuckyJen, Jul 17, 2007

Just wondering if anyone else has had problems with hyperpigmentation of the skin on the face (Melasma)?  I have had problems with dark pigmented areas on my face for 10+ years, despite wearing sunscreen religously.  However, when researching the hyperpigmentation, I found that a number of people with this problem also have thyroid disorders.

I'd love to get some feedback to give to my Endocrinologist.

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Member Comments (159)
by kipland, Jul 18, 2007
Oh my gosh....finally someone else has the problem too!!  A little history, I was recently diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.  I met with the surgeon yesterday, and he's going to remove the entire thyroid on 8/6.  About 2 years ago, I started getting these dark patches on my upper lip.  They're pretty big and on both sides of my upper lip - looking somewhat like I have a mustache!!  It's awful, and I'm very self conscious of it.  I've tried bleaching creams, and am now using something by Clinique called Advanced Stop Signs.  It's for lines and dark spots, but have been using it for about a month with no results.  Being in the sun makes it worse, even though I use SPF50 sunscreen.  I asked my primary doc, endo and the surgeon about them, and none of them think it has anything to do with my thyroid condition.  I decided yesterday that I'm going to see a dermatologist about them, because I can't stand it anymore.  I try to cover them with makeup, but first off I hate wearing all that **** on my face, and secondly, it doesn't do a very good job covering.

Please let me know what you find out, because I really think it has something to do with my thyroid - but maybe it was just timing.  

by tan78, Feb 04, 2008
Hello there,
I have the same silly dark areas appearing symmetrically all over my face. When I went to see my dermatologist he said it is caused by a hormone imbalance. He also said that even the medical world is baffled by exactly how it is caused. In my doctor's research he found that it was not an estrogen or progesterone problem, but something to do with the pituitary gland (the pea in the center of the brain). I believe that it is highly probable that it is linked to the thyroid as it is connected to pituitary - do a search on "Pituitary gland and hormones" and see what you come up with. I wish I knew a cure- because man having a crazy discolored face is no fun.

by Shri17, May 03, 2008
My Sis In Law also developed dark patches on either side of her lips about 6 months ago. She's tried all kinds of creams and there is no improvement. Did either one of you find out for sure what it is and how to cure it? Are you sure its related to Thyroid or Pituitary gland hormonal imbalance???
Do let me know
by barleypop, May 03, 2008
I have melasma too....the lovely brown mustache that just won't go away!!

I was prescribed Triluma cream by my dermatologist.  It has helped somewhat but I have to be diligent with the sunscreen.  

Melasma does occur commonly with thyroid issues but it is also linked to birth control pills and pregnancy (it is also called the mask of pregnancy).  I thought mine was caused by my birth control pills last year but then 6 months after stopping them I found out I had Hashimoto's so I don't know if it was the birth control pills or my thyroid.   I have read that hyperpigmentation can be cause by increased ACTH which is the pituitary hormone that stimulates your adrenal glands which make cortisol.  

So I guess it can be thyroid or pituitary related but also estrogen and all the other lovely female hormones that go wacky with the thyroid.  I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist if it bothers you...mine is way more helpful than my endo!!  Shouldn't surprise me though!!  

hope this helps!! ;-)
by kipland, May 03, 2008
Mine has actually gotten better since I had my thyroid removed, although it's not completely gone.  

I think it's related, but all the health care professionals that I've asked (the dermatologist included) don't think it is.  I just thought it was strange that they literally faded to nearly nothing about 4 weeks after my thyroid was removed.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I know it wasn't birth control pills, because I haven't been on them in 15 years or so.  I also have Hashimotos.

My dermatologist also prescribed Triluma, and I'll start using it again when the sun comes out again (along with sunscreen, of course!).  Barleypop ~ did you notice that it makes your skin really dry?  Nothing like a dry, brown upper lip, huh?!?!

Shri ~ I agree with could be a number of different things.  She really needs to see a dermatologist to see what's going on and what she can do to help it.

by Thypatient, May 04, 2008
I know a woman, who is caucasian, that has very dark patches on her face and arms.  She also has light patches that are an albino like tone.  It seems to have worsened over the years.  I never knew what it was but after she knew about my problems she shared that it had to do with her longtime thyroid condition.  She said it's all over her body.

It was scary to learn that.  But I have to say this same woman, and it’s hard to write this, has shared she doesn’t always take her med.  Or, she takes it whenever, with whatever.  In fact, she doesn't understand why I'm so strict about taking my med, which I am.  She thinks that strictness, which she knows is recommened by my dr, is because I no longer have a thyroid.
by barleypop, May 04, 2008
The white patches sound like Vitiligo which is an another autoimmune disease.
by barleypop, May 04, 2008
Got to love a peeling upper the brown color wasn't bad enough!!  I have learned my lesson, SUNSCREEN on my face!!!  My spot get more noticeable with sun.
by kipland, May 08, 2008
Yep, mine get worse in the summertime too.  I've noticed within the last few months that I am getting some spots on across the bridge of my nose, and I also have some right above my eyebrow on one side.  Strange.  And ugly!!  I use concealer, then a powder makeup to try to cover them.

You said a mouthful.  I wish I had been better about sunscreen when I was younger.  I tan really well, so I never really bothered.  NOT smart!