Melasma is a common disorder that is marked by hyperpigmentation of the skin, mainly on the cheeks, forehead, and upper lip. These brown spots often result from too much sun exposure, hormonal changes, or injury to the skin. Regardless of the cause, it can be very distressing. Conventional treatments often include chemical peels, steroid creams or laser treatments. These treatments are frequently unsuccessful and can be associated with side effects. Fortunately, there is a dietary supplement known as pycnogenol that has been found to be safe and therapeutically effective for melasma.
Recently featured on the Dr. Oz show, pycnogenol is a potent antioxidant extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It has been shown to be protective against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A 30-day clinical trial conducted on women with melasma showed that pycnogenol had a general effective rate of 80% and caused no side effects. Moreover, several other associated symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, pains in the body and anxiety were also improved.
Beyond its effectiveness for improving skin health, other studies show that pycnogenol is helpful for supporting individuals with asthma, chronic venous insufficiency, hypertension, retinopathy, erectile dysfunction, osteoarthritis, menstrual complaints, and menopausal symptoms.