Tri Luma Usage Making Melasma Darker?

I am a 46 year old female half Pacific Islander and half Dutch. I was prescribed Tri Luma and after 1 day it appears to be slightly darker. Should I stop now before it gets worse?

Doctor Answers 3

Darkening after starting TriLuma

Thank you for your question texasbling. Melasma is a common condition characterized by dark patches on the skin. TriLuma is a great product to treat melisma. It contains hydroquinone, retinoic acid, and a steroid. Pigment from melasma can be in different layers of the skin. When it is in the surface layers it appears darker and when it is in the deeper layers it appears lighter. TriLuma and similar products can bring the pigment to the surface, making it appear darker. There can also be some irritation with use of these products. When my patients have irritation form such products I recommend backing off and using them less frequently and using less of it. The skin will slowly adjust and most patients will gradually be able to use it every day. Other options such as kojic acid, alpha-arbutin, and vitamin C are alternatives for those intolerant to hydroquinone. Please contact your doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!


Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Hydroquinone is NOT for everybody.

I believe you when you say it is making you darker because I have seen that very often in my 30 years of using it. Some people will see this initially but some people only notice this when they use a very strong compound that is irritating. When darker skin gets irritated, it GETS DARKER.The real problem is that the hydroquinone is frequently compounded with steroid creams to make it less irritating. Using this over time makes the skin thinner and therefore MORE easily irritated.I like using a product that does not include Hydroquinone for that reason.I also believe that unless you use sunscreen faithfully ( 365 days a year) you may be wasting your time with creams!

Beverly Johnson, MD
Silver Spring Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Melasma and Sun Spots -- Best Treamtent Is Clear + Brilliant / Fraxel 1927 / Aerolase w Microneedling PRP, Pro Yellow is Useful

I suggest a formal consultation if you feel skin care is worsening your skin you may need alternative treatments.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.