Treating Melasma: Prescriptions or Over-the-Counter?

Melasma is a persistent skin pigmentation issue that affects a good deal of the population. For some people, the condition goes away on its own, as in the instance of expectant mothers, or other women undergoing hormonal changes. However, for many sufferers of melasma, the condition can be long-lasting. For persistent symptoms of melasma, it’s important to know the options available for treatment.

There are over-the-counter products available for treating this condition and others like it when it comes to issues of pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Look for items containing azelaic or kojic acid. These are common ingredients in products intended for establishing brightness and evenness; the acids work to strip away top layers of skin that contain the darker melanin that’s causing the patchy appearance of the skin.

These acids have a lightening effect that is mild on the skin. When used diligently, over a period of three to sixth months or more you will notice an improvement. Some of the best products for melasma containing azelaic acid in particular are Melarase cream and Melapeel, which works as a facial. These dermatologist-recommended products are specially formulated for the treatment of melasma, and work to gently and gradually exfoliate the skin so that an even pigment is revealed.

Another great product from Cape Fear Naturals is Kojic Acid Cream. Studies conducted on patients have shown that a gel containing 2% kojic acid along with 10% glycolic acid improves the appearance of melasma.

Other treatments have also shown to be successful at treating this condition. Tretinoin is a powerful topical cream that improves the texture, appearance, and overall health of the skin. It’s often prescribed to treat fine lines, wrinkles, undereye circles, blackheads, acne, and even melasma! The one thing that the aforementioned conditions have in common is pigmentation as its related to cell turnover.

Tretinoin is one of the best products to use for melasma because it works by stimulating cells to multiply and replace dead skin cells, whereby this older skin may be eventually sloughed off. In the instance of melasma, hyperpigmented areas will eventually be replaced with healthy, even skin cells. Tretinoin may cause dryness and flakiness at first, and requires some patience - the drug may require up to six months to see full improvement.

Some at home and over the counter treatments are other great options for those with melasma. Those that contain glucosamine or niacinamide, vitamin C, topical vitamin A, and alpha and beta hydroxy acids are among the ingredients to look for. Olay Definity along with an at-home facial peel are a few of the best products to use when fighting melasma.

Though melasma is without an official cure, those with the condition need not worry over how to treat their symptoms. Limit your exposure to sunlight, and stay away from hormones or any other medication that can affect your endocrine system. There are many prescription and over the counter products for melasma that work for many people. Decide what’s right for you!

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