Tri Luma Vs Meladerm for Melasma?

I was diagnosed with Melasma. My chin has very dark areas and some parts of my upper lip. I have tried several OTC creams to correct and nothing worked. I am very self conscious about this.

MD gave rx for TriLuma - but not covered by insurance and is $300 for 1 oz. so I also looked into Meladerm Skin Lightning Cream. Which do you think is a better product for me. Also TriLuma has hydroquinone is this something that can cause liver damage? Thank you. PS I am fair skinned

Doctor Answers 1

Tri-Luma stronger but Meladerm could work

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Tri-Luma has three ingredients in it containing an old formulation that many of us dermatologists used to compound. These being Hydroquinone 4%, Retin A, and fluocinolone; i.e. a bleaching agent, retinoid and mild steroid. My feeling it is the strongest topical bleaching agent.

Meladerm is a combination of alpha-arbutin and kojic acid. Alpha arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone and acts in a similar mechanism. Supposedly, it is milder and releases its active compund slower. In my opinion it does not work quite as well. Kojic acid is derived from a Japanese fungus. It works differently to block pigmentation.

I do not see any harm in trying the OTC products first and then filling the prescription for Tri-Luma in the event they do not work. Neo-Strata makes a good one with Kojic acid and 2% Hydroquinone.

Whatever you get make sure you use a sunscreen. Otherwise all your labors and costs will be for naught.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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