Melasma - How to Apply Tretinoin and Hydroquinon Creams

I have melasma on my upper lip due to taking oral contraceptives. I have seen a dermatologist and was prescribed Tretinoin Cream .025% as well as Hydroquinon 4%. I was told to apply the Tretinoin 1x a day and the Hydroquinon 2x a day. I have been doing this since the beginning of July and I don't feel like I am seeing any results. My concern is that maybe I am applying the cream incorrectly. Should I apply after or before other skin regimen? I also use Clinique Acne Solutions 3-step system 2x da

Doctor Answers 4

Melasma Treatment

Melasma is an incredibly frustrating condition.  While there is no "cure" for melasma, it can be managed with topicals such as the ones you are using.  We generally recommend that patients apply the hydroquinone on a freshly washed face and allow it to dry completely before applying your moisturizer.  In the evening, you can mix the Retin-a and HQ together and again wait for it to dry completely before following with additional creams. And as Dr. Lupo mentioned, regular sunscreen use is incredibly important.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Retin A can be inactivated by the preservatives in other creams

Retin A can be inactivated by the preservatives in other creams. Aldehydes and other preservatives are found in some creams which destroy vitamin A. Retin A should be applied at least 5 minutes after any other cream has been applied.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
2.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Melasma treatment with Melarase creams

Melasma is a treatable condition. I have written a book on melasma and begin patients on Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams twice daily, in addition to RR Complex. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Try Triluma

Triluma is the only FDA approved combination for this problem and the results for this combination product are better than the sum of its parts. Please make sure you are getting no sun exposure, even through windows. If after 4 weeks you do not see improvement, please consider peels or Fraxel Dual.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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.