Posts for tag: azelaic acid

There are several methods of lightening dark skin spots. However, anyone with hyper pigmented spots on

 the skin should first have them checked by their dermatologist to rule out either precancer or skin cancer.

 This can sometimes be done by a simple visual examination. Or, it may require a skin biopsy. If  the 

 darkened skin areas are deemed to be benign, one or more of the following methods may be used

 to lighten them.

 A topical (i.e., applied from the outside to the skin) medication called hydroquinone, sometimes

 combined with a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin is one of the most effective, noninvasive

 methods of lightning dark skin spots.

  Other methods include the application of intense pulsed light and various types of lasers,

 chemical peels (especially those containing trichloroacetic acid   or glycolic acid). These

 peels can also help eliminate fine lines and wrinkling caused by sun exposure and/or aging of the skin.

 In addition, products containing azelaic acid, which is component of grains such as barley, rye

 and wheat, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can also have a skin lightening effect.

 One can also consider the use of an old remedy, lemon juice which contains citric acid and 

 has been used as a skin  lightener for a long time.

 However, one must be very careful with the application time when applying lemon juice

 to the skin  since it can dry out the skin and is a potent photosensitizer that can cause sunburn

 when exposed to the sun.






             Melasma  which is also called  the mask of pregnancy or cholasma is both sun-exposed and 

hormone related and usually appears as a tan or dark discoloration on the face of pregnant women

or women taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Current thought is that the female

hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the skin melanocytes to produce more pigment

called melanin.

            In addition,melasma seems to be more prevalent in women living in areas with intense sun

exposure. Unusual causes of melasma include allergic reactions to medications and cosmetics.

          The good news about melasma is that the discoloration usually diasppears on its own several

months after giving birth or stopping oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. The bad

news is that even after these events it usually returns with continual exposure to the sun.

          Treatment also includes topical (applied directly to the skin) depigmenting agents such as

hydroquinone,tretinoin and azelaic acid as well as the use of broad spectrum sunscreens and avoidance 

of other precipitants such as hormonal triggers. 

         Also,I wonder if  lignin peroxidase which is currently being studied as a lightening agent will

have a role in the treatment of melasma.