When Gemma first experienced the dark patches of skin characteristic of melasma, she went straight to her GP, but was disappointed when he couldn’t put a name to her pigmentation and simply deemed it a rash. Because she wasn’t sure what the cause of her “rash” was, she had absolutely no idea how to treat it. After later discovering that she was dealing with melasma, Gemma tried every lotion and potion she could get her hands on, but all to no avail.
Her breaking point came in the summer of 2017 when she had been suffering with melasma for roughly 10 years, and even had to color correct her makeup on a daily basis to try and even out her skin, a very tedious process that lasted a few hours. After chatting with several dermatologists and being recommended the Obagi Nu-Derm® system, she finally had a breakthrough!*[The safety and effectiveness of the Obagi Nu-Derm System beyond 24 weeks of use have not been established. If no improvement is seen after three (3) months of treatment, use of this product should be discontinued. See below for Important Safety Information about the Obagi Nu-Derm system.]
Here’s her story:
“I’ve had melasma for at least 10 years, and during that time it has become progressively worse. I first went to my GP after my boyfriend said I was growing a moustache! I remember being horrified and then disappointed when the doctor wasn’t sure what it was, and said that it was probably just a rash.
Over the years, my melasma came and went with the seasons, but with every summer, it came back more widespread and more aggressively than the year before. Eventually, I made the connection between my melasma and the sun, and my suspicions about sunlight being the culprit were realized.
I tried every lotion, potion, natural remedy, vitamin, and skin peel I could find. Some worked temporarily, some not at all.
Then in the summer of 2017, I’d had enough. By this time, I had learned to color-correct my makeup to counteract the dark patches. It was making me miserable and I was feeling like I’d run out of options.
Spurred on by other people’s stories online, I decided to set up a YouTube channel where I vowed to get rid of my melasma one way or another, and to document my journey as I did in the hopes that someone in my situation might not have to go through so many years of misery like I had.
I remember the day clearly. I was out of town and it was a beautiful day, but I was shut away inside. I phoned every clinic and dermatologist I could find online and talked to them about what they may be able to do to help me. Obagi was mentioned several times, and I got booked in for a consultation upon my return home.”
I was hesitant at first. What if it was a gimmick? What if my money wasn’t well spent? How would I stick to all the steps involved? I took some time to think it over but eventually, the frustration of color -correcting every day, an effect that would last just a few hours, made me realize I had to give Obagi a shot.
It’s been only 8 weeks since I started on the Obagi Nu-Derm® system, and whilst the melasma is loitering like a faint ghost still, it’s all but gone, after only 8 weeks. I thought it would take months, but I have followed this rigidly. I wholeheartedly committed to the Obagi Nu-Derm system every day and every night. I use steps 1 through to 5 with a retinoid mixed with Blender (step 5) at night. I honestly couldn’t say which product is working the most; I think it’s the combination of them all that’s doing the trick.
Right now, I anticipate that Obagi will be an ongoing way of life for me – and I’m totally ok with that because not only has my melasma faded significantly, but my skin quality has changed in positive ways too. After some initial mild peeling from the Exfoderm, I have new skin. Having suffered with acne for years prior to melasma, I’d been left with super-oily and spot-prone skin. That’s not the skin I have now! And I don’t want to speak too soon, but I swear there’s a wrinkle or two fading away!”
Curious to see how Gemma progressed in her treatment? Check it out:
After 5 Weeks
After 6 Weeks
Not only can you find Gemma making skin care videos on YouTube, but you can also follow her on social media:
*Individual results may vary.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR OBAGI NU-DERM CLEAR AND BLENDER®
(Contain prescription 4% hydroquinone)
People with prior history of sensitivity or allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients should not use it. The safety of topical hydroquinone use during pregnancy or in children (12 years and under) has not been established.
Avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, or lips. In case of accidental contact, patient should rinse eyes, nose, mouth, or lips with water and contact physician.
Sunscreen use is an essential aspect of hydroquinone therapy because even minimal sunlight exposure sustains melanocytic activity.
Contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people.
PRECAUTIONS (ALSO SEE WARNINGS):
Treatment should be limited to relatively small areas of the body at one time since some patients experience a transient skin reddening and a mild burning sensation, which does not preclude treatment.
Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with topical hydroquinone. It is also not known whether hydroquinone can cause fetal harm when used topically on a pregnant woman or affect reproductive capacity. It is not known to what degree, if any, topical hydroquinone is absorbed systemically. Topical hydroquinone should be used on pregnant women only when clearly indicated.
Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether topical hydroquinone is absorbed or excreted in human milk. Caution is advised when topical hydroquinone is used by a nursing mother.
Pediatric Usage: Safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 12 years have not been established.
Use of the product should be discontinued if hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients is noted.