I Tried Oral Tranexamic Acid to Treat My Stubborn Melasma


When it comes to topicals, “hydroquinone has lengthy been the gold customary for lightening melasma,” says Sandra Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founding father of SLMD Skincare. Primarily, hydroquinone decreases the manufacturing of melanin by inhibiting a pigment-producing enzyme referred to as tyrosinase. Although there’s a protracted listing of do’s and don’t’s with regards to hydroquinone, when utilized correctly, it has been confirmed to lower the looks of hyperpigmentation. Different frequent components for treating melasma (lots of which can be utilized together) embody retinoids, vitamin C, kojic acid, niacinamide, alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, and arbutin.

Whereas these topicals have proven promise, by nature, many aren’t designed to deal with extra extreme melasma. “A lot of the lotions available on the market goal the signs of melasma — the pigment within the pores and skin — by rising cell turnover, however not the first reason for the situation, that are the pores and skin cells that produce the pigment,” says Ariel Ostad, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York Metropolis. “Some topical merchandise like hydroquinone or azelaic acid can decelerate melanin manufacturing, however not as successfully or profoundly as oral tranexamic acid.” And oral is the important thing phrase right here: Although tranexamic acid can be utilized topically to gradual melanin synthesis, medical research present it really works far more successfully when taken in pill-form.

What’s oral tranexamic acid?

As Dr. Ostad stated, oral tranexamic acid (OTA) inhibits the manufacturing of melanin within the pores and skin. Like hydroquinone, that is achieved by interfering with the exercise of sure enzymes concerned in melanin synthesis, he says. (Although it has “acid” in its title, OTA is just not an acid like glycolic or salicylic, says Dr. Frank: “Acid simply refers to the kind of chemical construction compound.”)

Although our focus right here is on the remedy of melasma, oral tranexamic acid can also be an FDA-approved anti-fibrinolytic agent, which means it inhibits the dissolution of blood clots, which in flip helps stop heavy bleeding. “It may be used to assist deal with heavy menstrual bleeding in ladies and will also be utilized in dental and coronary heart surgical procedure in sufferers with bleeding issues,” says Dr. Ostad.

“When it comes to treating melasma, oral tranexamic acid is a kind of ‘blissful accidents,’ like the invention that an eye fixed medicine referred to as Botox helps cut back wrinkles,” provides Dr. Lee. “Sufferers taking oral tranexamic acid [for other ailments] began reporting to their docs that their melasma began bettering whereas taking the drug. This led to medical research, and now tranexamic acid is without doubt one of the instruments we are able to use to enhance this cussed situation.”



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