Our expert says:
Hi Bets, thank you for the question.
Airol cream is a vitamin A derivative known as Tretinoin. Alternative versions of the cream do exist such as Retin A or Renova. These do need to be obtained with a prescription so speak to your dermatologist or family doctor and make sure you understand all the possible side effects and the precautions that are necessary. There are a number of alternatives to treating Melasma but overall it can be difficult to completely remove this form of pigmentation.
Melasma usually presents as confluent or large uninterrupted areas of pigmentation on the cheeks, upper lip and forehead. Even though this form of pigmentation is commonly associated with hormonal changes, there are patients that present with Melasma with no direct link to these hormonal changes.
Your typical approach to treating pigmentation is as follows:
A day and night moisturizer that contains glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxyl acids.
A good SPF (30 or greater) that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
Sun avoidance as much as possible (use a hat when in the sun).
Skin lightening creams that contain mandelic acid, citric acid, Mulberry Root extracts and kojic acid. This may be mixed with hydroquinone 2% (over the counter) or 4% or higher (prescription only).
The above regime should be used in conjunction with glycolic acid and mandelic acid peels. Krulig’s peels have been used with great success in removing or lightening pigmentory changes since 1995.
The above ingredients can be found with the NeoStrata range.
Skin Rejuvenation Technologies (unless the pigmentation is Melasma and in particular dermal Melasma):
Your choice here is:
Laser (Fraxel does have FDA approval for Melasma pigmentation removal).
IPL and Bi-Polar Radiofrequency (Syneron eMax or eLight)
Skin rejuvenation technologies may be coupled with the above, and should be started a month before skin rejuvenation, to further enhance the effect.
Typically these technologies can give a 50 to 80 % clearance.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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