melasma case

Melasma Treatment with Skin Lighteners

melasma caseMelasma is a condition where brown patches appear on the face. Dermatologists see about 200,000 cases per year. Fortunately, it is easy to spot, and treatable. If left untreated, it can last for years.

Melasma is often caused by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. As such, women are more likely to develop the condition than men. Sun exposure is another common cause of melasma.


Tri-Luma© is a short-term topical treatment for moderate to severe melasma (increased pigmentation or darkening in typical locations [cheeks, lips, etc.]). Tri-Luma is a combination retin-A (vitamin A derivative), hydroquinone (depigmentation agent) and mild topical cortisone cream (weak anti-inflammatory and also decreases pigmentation).

  • Gently wash your face and neck with a mild cleanser, rinse and pat dry
  • Apply a thin layer of medicine to the areas of melasma including about half inch of normal appearing skin surrounding each lesion
  • Rub lightly until the cream is evenly distributed
  • Ideally apply at least 20-30 minutes before bedtime
  • You may apply a moisturizer to the face at night after the Tri-Luma soaks in or in the morning after washing

Other Important Information:

  • Tri-Luma use may increase sun sensitivity. Plan to stay out of the direct sun and wear sun-protective clothing in addition to sunscreen (SPF 15-30).
  • The most common side effects are redness, peeling, mild burning, irritation, stinging, dryness, itching, and less commonly acne, tingling of the skin, or warmth at the application site.
  • Skin depigmentation agents are generally not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.


SkinMedica LYTERA Skin Brightening Complex©

Lytera is a non-prescription, non-hydroquinone skin brightening product that minimizes the appearance of skin discoloration and dark spots to even skin tone. It is also available in a Skin Brightening System Kit which includes: a facial cleanser, Lytera, 0.5 or 1.0 Retinol Complex, and sunscreen.

  • Gently wash face and neck with facial cleanser, rinse and pat dry (AM/PM)
  • Apply Lytera evenly to entire face.  A temporary warm, tingling sensation may occur immediately after application.
  • Apply Retinol Complex (0.5 or 1.0) evenly to entire face. If you have never used a retinol product before, begin by limiting use to twice a week, gradually increasing frequency to every other night, and then slowly advancing to each evening or as tolerated.  (PM)
  • In the morning repeat steps but skip retinol and apply Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+ evenly to entire face 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, reapply as needed. (AM)

Ellié Skin Care HQRA+©:

HQRA+ is an advanced, high potency, custom-compounded formula that delivers skin lightening and powerful anti-aging benefits as it markedly reduces melanin production and also diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and creases.  HQRA+ is a combination of 7% Hydroquinone, Tretinion (vitamin A derivative) and cortisone.

  • Same application as listed above for Tri- Luma

Learn more about melasma here.