Hydroquinone for Mild Melasma and Acne Marks - Los Angeles, CA

I went to a very reputable dematologist in LA for...

I went to a very reputable dematologist in LA for a consultation for mild melasma and brown/red acne scars. I think the melasma was caused by a series of glygolic peels I did with not using the proper sun protection (stupid mistake). My Dr. told me that my condition is not bad enough to warrant Fraxel and that often these laser treatments will make your condition worse. So, if what you're dealing with is not that bad - it's best just not to take the risk. I really appreciated his honesty.

Instead, he prescribed me 10% hydroquinone with the caveat that it can be only used in a very small dosage (pea size amount once a day)and that I must use a high SPF suncreen. I've been using it for a month now, but apparently it can take a few months to see optimal results. I did not get any results from the lower dosage hydroquinone that you can buy from the drug store. I have to say that the 10% has done a nice job thus far with blending the brown marks. So, it hasn't completely gotten rid of the discoloration, but things do look a bit lighter and more blended. I can tell that in another month, there will be even more improvement. My friend who has very bad melasma has been using it regularly now as well, and her condition looks much improved.

My Dr. did say that if I wasn't happy with the hydroquinone results after a few months, that he might consider doing a very light, non-aggresive fraxel treatment on me, but again he was weary of it. It seems the best way to treat a more mild condition is non-aggressively and over time - so one can't expect a quick fix, just gradual improvement.

So, I guess the lesson is even for us folks that seem more prone to obsess over our appearance (I am one of them), it's best just to proceed with caution and be conservative. I had other Dr's try and sell me on multiple laser treatments and while they are very tempting, I am continuing to take my current Dr's sincere advice.

3 Comments

@neonix. Is your doctor a dermatologist? Compounding pharmacys can make hydroquinone at any strength. Check out some of the doctors answers here on Realself. Many recommend higher than 4%. It us available. Best wishes!!!
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Hi, I read your post and found it very interesting, so I decided to follow. I asked my doctor about the Hydroquinone 10% you mentioned in your post, and I was told there is no such thing. the one available is only 4% which she already prescribed for me but it did not help a whole lot. Please let me know if there is such 10% Hydroquinone because I was hoping it would help my melasma better since I'm scared of laser due to many bad reviews. Thanks a bunch!
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Hi,

Welcome to the Melasma community. Your doctor sounds great, trustworthy and truthful which is very important. Do you think you might eventually go through with a very low Fraxel treatment? Please keep us updated.

Thanks so much for the review,

-Britt

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