9th Feb 2011 

The Most Informative Q&A Site covering nearly all complexion flaws

By: Dr. Pierre

Questions & Answers On 

Pigmentation (Melasma/Chloasma)

Images of Pigmentation


Pigmentation (Chloasma/Melasma) is also a very common yet complex problem to treat. 

While hydroquinone alone (at 2% minimum concentration in a cream) is relatively effective in bleaching pigment patches, I won’t use it due to its many reported side effects like the following: 

Blistering, Itching, Swelling, Rashes, Contact dermatitis, Potential carcinogen, Eyes irritation, Disfiguration, Sensitizing, Hyperpigmentation, Toxic, Hyper reaction to UVR. 

More serious side effects include: 

Nausea, Vomiting, Convulsions, Migraine, Tremors, Hallucinations, Muscle twitching, Ear ringing, and even affecting the functions of your liver, kidney and adrenal gland! 

Yet some dermatologists would even prescribe creams incorporating up to 4% hydroquinone concentration! 

Most countries have already banned its use, but due to the lobbying power of the medical associations in the United States, it is still used in most skin-lightening products from the U.S., and even in a higher-than-recommended concentration of 2% and more! 

I suggest you stay away from products with hydroquinone. Note that a bleaching product’s ingredient list may also list synonyms like p-Benzenediol; 1,4-Benzenediol; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene; Benzene-1,4-diol; Quinol; and 4-Hydroxyphenol, but these are still hydroquinone. There are at least several tens more of hydroquinone synonyms.  

If you can find ways to avoid the UVR, half your battle is won by not aggravating your condition. 

Buying into advertising claims that those high SPF creams like 30, 40, 50, and more could save you can actually lead you to another disaster – that is: premature aging and even skin cancer! 

I’ll touch on this topic in the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) category below. 

For now, your safest and the most effective bet is the Dr Pierre Product #s 79P and 98!



I would like to know what treatments/products you would suggest using for my skin problems.

I have a pigmentation problem on the right side of my face that has worsened progressively over the past five years.

It started as a small spot on my cheek and has increased to most of the right side and has moved to my forehead.

I have had numerous glycolic peels, used Renova, RetinA and other bleaching cream.

I think all of these things have just worsened my skin condition and made it extremely sensitive to any sunlight and resulted in more acne type problems.

I do take birth control pills, but the pigmentation problem started and progressed long before I started taking them.

Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Laura (submitted by alias: laura) 

Hi Laura, with your current condition, the first thing you must avoid is exposure to the sun.

Using a good sunscreen with SPF 8 to 15 is sufficient.

Do not use one that's higher.

Sunscreens with higher SPF can cause lots of other complications to the skin.

More about SPF here

Artificial peels often caused more harm than good.

After a fresh peel, the skin temporarily appears soft and fair but, actually, it is due to the disappearance of some of the epidermal sub-layers which have been peeled off.

With the loss of some sub-layers, naturally the skin has a much thinner epidermal skin, thus less protective capability against the sun's harmful UV rays.

I advise that you stop receiving such treatment altogether.

Birth control pills can also cause a hormonal imbalance in your body over time, and leading to some melanin cells to over-multiply themselves. 

Although your pigmentation problem started and progressed long before you started taking them, it does not necessarily mean that it is not one of the current additional causes to your pigmentation problem.

If, after having avoided the sun and having used a good sunscreen for some time, there's still no improvement, then the primary cause of your pigmentation now is due to the pills.

Of course your skin peels and past exposure to the sun are most likely the early causes to your pigmentation problem, but your pills could have become a later problem contribution source.

Bleaching creams can only work, provided the source of the problem can be controlled.

Nevertheless, all other daily/nightly skincare products used also play a role to some extent in your resulting skin condition.

I urge you to try our samples.

For your convenience I have pasted a copy of our text version Sampleset Request Form below here for your completion.

(Note: Actual form contents are removed from here to save space)  

Best Regards: Pierre  

I have used a tanning bed 3 times for 10 minutes each time; I am beginning to see white spots on my legs; Is this being caused by the tanning bed and is there anything I can do to get rid of them.

Thanks (submitted by alias: waterbaby) 

Hi Waterbaby, the Answer is yes and no.

The white spots are melanin cells that have been depigmented, and cannot multiply themselves when stimulated by UV rays.

This is of course not natural, but it happens to most people.

All other normal melanin cells when exposed to the UV rays will automatically multiply themselves, thus becoming more in numbers and more concentrated, and appearing darker in shade(i.e. Tan) so as to shield and protect the skin better against UV penetration.

This is a natural physiological phenomena(a great creation of our good God) to protect our skin from further damage by the harmful effects of UV rays.

So when cells that are normal and when exposed to UV rays became darker, the remaining abnormal cells that do not multiply and remain the same obviously appear as if they are white spots in the darker cells surrounding area.

So these white spots were not caused by the UV rays to become white, but were caused by the surrounding cells which became darker through UV exposure, and highlighting them as if they are white spots.

I don't encourage this kind of treatment.

Tanning beds emit artificial UV-A rays which possess deep penetration ability, up to the dermis layer, causing both layers of melanin cells to multiply.

Although UV-A rays energy is lower than that of UV-Bs, we are all already exposed daily to the sun's natural UV-A and B rays as well.

So everyone of us have enough absorption of UV-B rays every day.

UV-B rays that accumulated on our skin can be highly activated by additional UV-A rays to cause serious harmful effects on skin, leading to pre-mature aging and even skin cancer in the long run.

Stop this treatment for a while and let the tanned cells get back to their normal concentration level, and the white spots will disappear gradually.

Regards: Pierre  

i've had a problem with cystic acne since seventh grade.

i believe it may be genetic because both my sister and my mother have the same problem.

i've been on numerous oral antibiotics and have used many different topical medications.

recently, i was on accutane, 80mg, up to 3 times a day.

unfortunately, i was unable to finish the treatment (i was on it for about 4 months).

my face is incredibly clear now, except for one trouble area.

my left cheek, in the same spot, tends to develop cysts right before my periods.

this past week, i had another reoccurence.

i went to my dermatologist, and i got injections on two separate occasions.

finally, when it didn't get any better, i squeezed it.

i have done this before so i used extreme caution.

i poked the apparent point with a steralized needle and then squeezed out all the puss. 

now, i have a very dark mark in that area.

i was wondering if this could possibly be just a bruise from ruptured blood vessels under the skin, or ! is it a discoloration at this point??? it has been about 4 days, and it seems to be getting a little better every day.

i have lustra to use of my scars, but it irritates my skin, and turns the whole area red.

so now, i don't know what i can use on these dark areas.

i still have marks from previous cysts in the very same area, so it covers more of my cheek than it would if it were just that one cyst.

so, how soon can i expect this mark to disappear? is it a bruise or a discoloration at this point? and what products can i use on it which will help fade the marks without irriating my skin? thank you, kat (submitted by alias: kat) 

Hi Kat, antibiotics should not be taken on a long term basis, because your body will become immune and your dosage will have to be increased over time.

Your own body’s defence system will also become less and less active, since an outside defence force(that is antibiotics) is doing the defence for the body.

Try changing your pillow case daily.

Often bacteria from your hair and acne get onto the pillow and multiply. 

When your clean part of the face rested on it from night to the next morning, trillions of bacteria could have transferred from the pillow case onto your skin, and sensitize it, leading to outbreak.

Check if you often sleep with your left cheek on the pillow.

Squeezing is bad practice.

It will inevitably leave scars.

Scars from squeezing are ruptured capillaries, not depigmentation or hyper-pigmentation of your melanin cells.

It can heal over time.

It can also be speeded up with our product : #99 Herbal SR Cream 0.42 FL.OZ.(12ML) at $27.70 per jar.

However, for fast amazing results, it is best to use our complete set of skincare without mixing with any other product not from our line.

I recommend the following products for your current condition:


For your order convenience, I have pasted a copy of our text version Price-list and order forms below here.

Best Regards: Pierre  

Hi, I generally have good skin except for my nose.

About 8 months ago I developed a really bad cyst on my nose.

It was very large and by the time I got to a dermatologist it ruptured.

Needless to say it left a a scar.

I'm not concerned witht the scar.

I'm concerned about the pigment- ation.

I'm black and have medium brown complexion.

The scar on my nose is very dark and visible.

My doc gave me a lightening gel with AHA in it.

So far it is not working.

It is lighter than it was intitially but overall it hasn't really worked.

What do you suggest I do? I just want to lighten the surrooundin skin, thats's all.

Is there a different preocedure for treatment when a person has a darker complexion to begin with? Thank you for your time.

Arthur (submitted by alias: Arthur) 

Hi Arthur, post-acneic pigmented scar is actually different from Melasma kind of pigmentation.

Post-acneic scar is more like wound scar caused by clogged capillaries.

On the other hand, Melasma kind of Pigmentation is caused by an increase in production of melanin cells within an area of the skin that causes that area to appear darker.

Lightening works by bleaching melanin cells, and it's not the correct treatment method for post-acneic scars(which are clogged capillaries).

The following product in our line is indicated for post-acneic scars.

#99 Herbal SR Cream 0.42Fl.Oz.(12ML) at $27.70 a jar.

However, for fast amazing results it is best that you use the complete set of our skincare products without mixing with any other product(s) not from our line, and stop using soap on your face altogether.

You may purchase only the #99 first and request a sampleset as well for the other items, so that you'll have the complete set for your daily/nightly routine.

For your order convenience, I have pasted a copy of our text version Price-list and order forms below.

Best Regards: Pierre  


We apologize that this question has been accidentally deleted by a new staff.
(submitted by alias: ) 


Hi, do you mean you have it only on the right cheek, and not on your left at all?  

Frankly, have you ever gone through any abrasive or chemical skin peeling treatment before?  

Many people who have gone through such treatment process ended up with a thinner, more sensitized skin because the 'mother' cell layer(i.e. the basal layer) of the epidermis is damaged by such treatment. 

With a thinner epidermal layer, it has lesser protection against UV rays, and heat.

As a result, the skin reacts easily to heat and slightest presence of UV rays, and physiologically multiplies its melanin cells production.

Increased melanin cells production in an uneven manner gives rise to pigmented spots and patches.

If you have not gone through any skin peeling treatment as mentioned above, then it can likely be the cause of the body's hormonal imbalance.

Hormonal imbalance can happen at least on 5 occasions to a woman.

During puberty; having an active sex life; during pregnancy; during a period of emotional stress; and during menopause.

The worse condition of hyper-pigmentation is during menopause.

However, not every woman will result in having hyper-pigmentation during menopause.

Try to recall, if you had used a certain product, or having undergone some form of treatment just shortly before the severe pigmentation arises.

Whichever cause it was, however, what you need now is to keep your skin well moisturized(so stop using any soap altogether), well protected against the UV rays, and use a good lightening cream.

Not every sunscreen is safe.

The higher the SPF value, the more sensitizing it is, and the higher the risk in pre-mature aging and skin cancer!

So do be very careful.

To learn more about sunscreen and the harmful effects of high SPF value sunscreens, Click here.

I would recommend you the following items in our line, if you are interested to order: 


For your order convenience, I have pasted a copy of our price-list and text version order forms below.

(Note: to save space, the actual form contents are removed from here)  

Best Regards: Pierre  

We apologize that this question has been accidentally deleted by a new staff. 

(submitted by alias: Mary )

Hi Mary, If your hyperpigmentation is not due to any internal imbalance of your hormonal system, then faster positive results can be easier realized.

Firstly, you must avoid the harmful effects of the sun as much as possible.

UVA and UVB rays will cause your condition to deteriorate.

Although AHA product does effectively cause cell revitalizing action, you need more than just AHA.

However, just a word of caution.

AHA products if not well formulated can cause skin irritation and inflammation, and develop skin sensitivity.

I urge you to read my article at http://www.pierrechenxu-intl.com/facts.htm to gain a better understanding and sounder knowledge in skincare. (site no longer active)

For your condition, I would recommend the following products: #s14D, 211, 31-D, 68, 76-P, 99, 98.  

To view detail specs of the above recommended items visit http://www.pierrechenxu.com/products.php and click on underlined links next to the individual product code. (site no longer active)

Regards: Pierre  


I just like to know what's the difference between pigmentation and "White spots".How can I to diffenciate them and prevent & get rid of them.

I'm currently using a scrub containing AHA, hoping to peel them off.

Will that be effective? Thanks.

(submitted by alias: Adrian)

Hi Adrian, Pigmentation is often referred to by layman and by beauticians to mean unsightly visible brown patches on the skin(usually the face).

They are mostly on the forehead, cheeks, upper cheek bone areas, nose, upper lip, and chin.

They are melanocytes(melanin or black cells) from the basal layer(lowest layer) of the epidermis, and/or melanocytes from the upper-most dermis.

These two melanocyte layers determine an individual's skin color.

The concentration of melanocytes vary from different ethnic races - being most concentrated in Negroes, and in descending order, to Indians, Malays, Chinese and the least concentrated amongst Caucasians.

Albinos have almost no melanocytes, and thus their skin is hyper-sensitive to the sun.

Melanocyte concentration also vary among individuals from the same ethnic race.

These cells will multiply out of proportion, and appearing in unsightly uneven brown patches on the face, due to hormonal imbalances triggered during pregnancies(for women), consumption of oral contraceptives (for women), post-pregnancy traumas(for women), menopause (for women), sicknesses(e.g. insomnia, depression, and most other emotional problems).

However, the most common cause of pigmentation problem is from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Sun-bathers have the highest risk, as well as people living in the tropical region, and people who have to make their living under the open sun or people who love outdoor sports - e.g. traffic police, sportsmen, taxi-drivers, odd job labourers.

This can be largely prevented by avoiding the sun, and by applying a good day cream with good adequate sunscreen properties daily.

White Spots can mean different things to different people.

Some people refer to Milia seeds(i.e. white heads in laymen terms) as white spots.

Milia seeds are not blackheads in its white form, as often erroneously thought so, even by beauticians/aestheticians.

They are very different.

You may read my article at http://www.pierrechenxu-intl.com/facts.php (site no longer active)

Some refer to vitiligo as white spots.

Vitiligo is the exact opposite to 'pigmentation'.

While pigmentation refers to over-production of melanocytes, causing ugly uneven brown patches that are darker than a person's skin tone, vitiligo refers to the absence of melanocytes, causing unsightly white spots or patches that are lighter than the skin tone.

Mild exposure to some sunlight may help darken vitiligo and make it appear closer to the skin tone, thus making it less obvious visibly.

However, over-exposure may have other detrimental effects.

See a doctor for advice.

A scrub with AHA will do you more harm than good.

Most scrubs contain coarse grains that work like sand-papers in an abrasive manner.

The scrub base is usually soap which is also bad for your skin.

AHA(Alpha Hydroxy Acid) will also cause excessive skin peeling.

With these three harsh actions combined in the AHA scrub, it will be too harsh to the skin, and will sensitize the skin.

I'd suggest you stop before it's too late.

Regards: Pierre  

I have been fighting clogged pores all my life.

But for the past 3 months the problem seems to be getting worse, specially my chin and nose.

Therefore, for the past 6 weeks I have been getting glycolic acid peels with extractions to try and clear up my skin but no luck.

I have also changed my skin care line to a clinical skin care line called Peter Thomas Roth based out of New York.

Their products are specially formulated for acne prone skin and clogged pores.

My esthetician does not understand how my pores can be so clogged after all the extraction she performs.

She also says that my skin care routine is correct for my skin type.

I go get these peels every 2 weeks- I have completed 4 of them at the moment.

Also, all of my make-up is non-comedogenic and I do not touch my face.

I have tried absolutely everything to try and clear up this problem and I seem to be using all the correct products - do you think Wondergel would be useful for me? If you think that it might help would be possible to try a sample first.

Please respond as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help.

Alejandra (submitted by alias: Alejandra)

Hi Alejandra, Clogged-pores is a common skin flaw.

The debris that clogged the pores comprises the skin's surface dead cells, environmental dirt, bacteria, salt from dried-up sweat, staled sebum secretion, waxes dried-up from face creams, and colored pigments(i.e. iron oxides) from dried-up makeup.

These are being deposited on the skin's surface daily.

As such, if they are not properly removed, the accumulations will seriously clog-up the pores.

Glycolic Peeling will not help in your clogged-pores.

Infact it will make it worse for your current situation.

Glycolic Peeling will shed your skin even more, thus producing more shedded dead cells to clog your pores.

From what you describe, the products you are currently using aren't effective.

Firstly, you must use a cleanser that really cleans by effectively softening/ dissolving the accumulated debris now clogging your pores, as well as removing your daily debris deposits.

Next, your skin's excessive secretion must be calmed/sedated by applying products that contain soothing/calming active ingredients.

Trying to rid off oily secretions by excessive washing with soap or any foam/soap base cleansers will only make it worse.

When you wash excessively with soap, your skin will dehydrate after each wash.

During the dehydration period, the skin will physiologically react by trying to compensate the temporary loss of oil/moisture by stimulating the oil glands to produce more oil.

This stimulation only causes more oil(which could not flow out due to your clogged condition) to build up beneath your pores and, thus, worsen the situation.

You will find your skin getting coarser.

Makeup are colored products, which contain coloring substances, colored pigment oxides(iron oxides), zinc oxides, titanium oxides, talc, etc..

As such, the manufacturer should never claim that they are non-comedogenic.

To claim that a product is non-comedogenic is to say that the product contains ingredients that will not contribute to the building up of comedones.

Comedones is a medical term for blackheads.

The debris that clogged the pores are blackheads/comedones!!! And all the pigments, oxides and talc are powdery grains which do contribute to pore-clogs.

Unless you have a good and effective cleanser and a good skincare routine, I'd advise that you stop using makeup for one to two weeks.

If you are willing to accept my advice, I would prefer that you stop all others and use the samples I will send you.


It will comprise 4 to 5 items.

I am confident you will see quick positive results, like many others have testified to us.

However, you will have to pay only for the postage which costs about $10.You only pay upon receipt of the samples.

One more request is that you testify for our products efficacies when you see remarkable improvements.

Please let me know if you want me to send the set of samples.

Regards: Pierre