Non-Prescription Treatments for Melasma

Watch dermatologist Dr. Irwin discuss non-prescription (at home) treatments for Melasma
  • Hats
  • Sunscreen
  • 2% Hydroquinone Bleaching Cream

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Video Transcription

Dr. Brandith Irwin:
Welcome to I’m Dr. Brandith Irwin. Our goal is to provide you with expert, unbiased skincare information. This segment is on Melasma. The first thing I want to say is that you must see your dermatologist and make sure that is actually is Melasma. Once you have a diagnosis of Melasma, then here are some things that are non-prescription that are important to do first. The first thing is you must, must, must, must, must use a sunscreen that blocks UVA. Most of the sunscreens out now, in fact all of them bock UVB. That SPF number refers only to UVB not UVA. And just so you know the FDA is planning to come out with a new rating system in the next year or two that will have a UVA ratings system on it. And I for one will dance in the streets because it will make my life so much easier. But in the meantime the things to look for in your sunscreens you need at least in your sunscreens five to ten percent or more zinc oxide or titanium or mixoral, which is in especially the European sunscreens. And also the stabilized Avobenzone, which sometimes goes under the name of Helioplex, also fine. And I like people especially if they’re going to be outdoors a lot in the summertime. I want double sunscreen.

In other words if your going to be indoors or its cloudy okay put that one layer on every single day if you have melasma, but if you’re going out cycling for three hours, climbing a mountain or you know you’re surfing, then you need to double sunscreen. And make sure that your sunscreen is waterproof, put that first layer on and then put a second layer or a third layer over the top. It’s even nice to mix and match sunscreens and I have um on our site under the sunscreen section there’s some information sports and specific sun screening and double sun screening. So look at that if you want to. The other thing I want you to know about Melasma is so first start with sunscreen. The other thing is that there are over the counter two percent Hydroquinone’s which are sold as bleaching creams at the drugstore. If need to be careful with those. If you a certain percentage of people with melasma can get worse with hydroquinones. So if you start to use that and you find your melasma’s not getting better, your melasma is getting worse, stop it and go see your dermatologist. Don’t just keep using it please. The other thing that’s really, really important is hats.

So a lot of people with melasma don’t get that hats will really block a lot of that sun that’s coming down on the top of your face. Get that hat on and if you melasma will make a huge difference. And then in another segment I’m going to talk about what to do about hormones and some of the prescription things that are available.  So I hope you enjoyed your time on SkinTour and read that section on melasma.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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