Will self-tanner make my melasma worse?

May 28, 2010
I am 32 and suffered from melasma from my pregnancies. Now I am so fanatical about sunscreen that I want to use a self-tanner to compensate for being so pale. Can I use self-tanner on my face, or will that make the melasma flare up? Thanks.

The good news is no!   All the self tanners so far contain the same active ingredient (DHA) and they do not affect the pigment making cells (melanocytes) one way or the other.  They just "stain" temporarily the outer dead layer of the skin (epidermis).  They are very safe unless you are allergic to one of the ingredients, most commonly in the base cream.  Dr. I

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