Can 1% Tretinoin Cream Lighten Hypopigmentation?

Can 1% Tretinoin Cream Lighten Hypopigmentation?

Doctor Answers 1

Tretinoin Cream

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I believe you mean Hyperpigmentation... Hypopigmentation means loss of pigment, as in white spots; hyperpigmentation means darkening of skin, like melasma, brown spots, etc. So only hyperpigmentation needs to be lightened.

1% Tretinoin can help lighten hyperpigmented areas, but it's usually minimally effective because the pigment is much deeper and the medication can only penetrate so deep into the skin layers. Usually for patients with hyperpigmentation I recommend IPL or Photofacial, or Cosmelan. Retinols or retinoids like 1% Tretinoin can also help, but usually only when combined with a deeper skin therapy like those listed above.

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