Q:

What is Tri-Luma?

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Quick Answer

Tri-Luma is a topical cream used to treat melasma, a common skin problem that causes brown patches on the face. Tri-Luma is known as a triple cream, as it has three active ingredients.

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Full Answer

Tri-Luma is made of a steroid, bleaching agent and vitamin A. This combination enhances skin lightening and clears dark patches on the face, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Melasma is caused by hormone changes and sun exposure. Dark patches can also appear on the forearms and neck. Women are more likely to get melasma than men because of hormone changes, with pregnant women commonly at risk. Melasma can fade on its own when the trigger causing it disappears, but it commonly has to be treated. Dermatologists can diagnose melasma by looking at the skin, but at times, a biopsy is needed.

Treating melasma with Tri-Luma lasts 8 weeks. The medicine is only available in cream form with a doctor's prescription, reports the Mayo Clinic. Tri-Luma treats the symptoms of melasma; it does not cure it, and many people suffer for years. Dermatologists recommend that a sunscreen of SPF 30 be used for prevention and a wide brimmed hat be worn when spending time in the sun.

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