Combination Melasma Treatment With Fewer Active Components May Be Effective

melanosis melasma
A triple combination melanoma treatment containing active ingredients with lesser concentrations than proposed, and with the addition of 2% salicylic acid, may be promising.

Patients with melasma using a new triple combination of traditional treatments containing active ingredients with lesser concentrations than proposed reported few side effects and significant improvement in their conditions, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

A researcher in the Dermatology Department at Gozde Hospital in Malatya, Turkey, conducted a retrospective study of 68 women with melasma who were prescribed a novel combination of 3 treatments. The treatment prescribed was composed of azelaic acid cream (20%) 30 g, hydroquinone cream (4%) 60 g, methylprednisolone aceponate cream (0.1%) 60 g, and salicylic acid 3 g. All of the women were prescribed the same treatment and were instructed to use it daily, except in the case of skin irritation when they should use it every other day. Their condition’s progress was assessed at 3 months and 6 months. At each of these points, they were given the opportunity to self-assess their condition’s progress as well.

Some irritation was reported by 5 of the women, but this was resolved by decreasing the frequency of application to every other day for 2 weeks. By the 3 month assessment, approximately 62% of total decrease in melanin index was achieved. Improvement continued into the 6th month with no reported increase in skin irritation.

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The researcher concluded that this is an effective and safe treatment that merits further study. It is suggested that the lower level of skin irritation than commonly experienced in traditional treatment may be due in part to the lower concentration of active components in this combination. Results supported the traditional combination-approach to therapy and present a particular regimen which is effective, has few side effects, and can be used over a long period of time. Further study is needed to fully confirm these findings.

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Pekmezci E. A novel triple combination in treatment of melasma: Significant outcome with far less actives [published online March 28, 2019]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12904