If you suffer from hyperpigmentation (melasma), here are the recommended prescription and over-the-counter treatments:
Hydroquinone (a benzene derivative that fades dark spots)
How it helps:
Bleaches darkened areas by preventing formation of pigment.
How to use it:
Apply twice a day and only to hyperpigmented areas. May be combined with products with AHA or salicylic acids.
- Be patient: improvements may take 4 to 8 weeks to become apparent.
- Stop immediately if area becomes darkened.
- Diligent sun prevention is a must to prevent reversal of benefit.
- Give non-prescription forms 2 months to work, if they’re not effective, switch to prescription strength.
- Over the counter: La-Roche Posay Biomedic Conditioning Gel (2%)
- By prescription: Generic hydroquinone (4%), Tri-Luma, EpiQuin Micro, Lustra or Lustra Ultra
For more information, check out Dr Amy Wechsler’s book, The Mind-Body Connection.