Melasma is a common skin disorder that resembles a dark-colored rash on the skin of the face, and occasionally the arms. Affecting millions of men and women worldwide, and particularly pregnant women, melasma is harmless but can be both unattractive and annoying. There are many topical treatments and cosmetic procedures available today to treat melasma, but one of the most popular topical skin lightening treatments is Tri-Luma® Cream. But how does Tri-Luma treat melasma? And what else should patients know about melasma discoloration?
Tri-Luma® Cream is a topical prescription medication for the treatment of melasma. It is recommended for both short and long term treatment use, and patients with severe to mild melasma are candidates. The three main active ingredients in Tri-Luma are 4% hydroquinone, 0.05% tretinoin and 0.01% fluocinolone acetonide.
Hydroquinone is a top ingredient in many effective skin lighteners used today—it inhibits melanin production to successfully lighten age spots, freckles, melasma, sun damage, and acne scar discoloration. By combining hydroquinone with tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, Tri-Luma can provide skin lightening and anti-aging benefits all in one.
In an 8-week, multicenter, blind group study of Tri-Luma on patients with moderate to severe melasma, 77% of patients reported their melasma symptoms were reduced to clear or mild status by the study's end. Tri-Luma Cream should be applied nightly to clean, dry skin before bedtime. Increased skin protection with daily sunscreen is essential to achieving successful results with Tri-Luma. If skin irritation occurs, discontinue Tri-Luma use and consult your skin care provider, or try cutting down usage to every other day. Possible side effects of Tri-Luma include skin dryness, redness, peeling, increased skin sensitivity, and minor bumps and blisters.
Patients should not use Tri-Luma if they're allergic to sulfites, as it could lead to severe allergic reactions and breathing difficulties. Other more severe possible side effects with Tri-Luma include infection, acne breakouts, skin thinning, inflammation, adverse hyperpigmentation, and increased sweating.
As mentioned above, melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that appears as a brown or grayish rash on facial skin and certain body areas. Currently, recognized melasma triggers include pregnancy, birth control usage, hormone therapy, sun exposure, heredity, and certain medications like tetracycline. Some patients who develop melasma will find it goes away on its own, whereas for others it can be a longer-lasting condition.
To correctly diagnose and treat melasma, patients should first consult with a licensed medical professional and/or cosmetic skin care provider. They will go over the possible causes for patients' melasma condition, as well as recommend appropriate treatments based on individual patient criteria.
In addition to Tri-Luma Cream and other topical prescription products, there are some very effective cosmetic treatments that can also reduce the appearance of melasma, freckles, age spots, etc. Chemical peels, IPL Photofacial, laser skin rejuvenation, and Microdermabrasion are a few popular modern skin treatments that can greatly improve overall skin tone and texture.
While chemical peels and Microdermabrasion eliminate imperfections by exfoliating surface skin cells that are damaged, dead or discolored, laser skin treatments like IPL Photofacial target specific points of hyperpigmentation with laser energy, to achieve more focused skin lightening action at the spots where patients need it most. Laser skin treatments are more successful for patients with individual hyperpigmentation spots, as opposed to those with a broader melasma rash.
To learn more about treatment options for melasma and hyperpigmentation, it's best to consult with a trusted cosmetic provider in your area. They will have the knowledge and the experience to determine what your skin condition is, what your treatment needs are, and which treatment procedure will give you the best results possible.