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What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by the development of brown or grayish patches, primarily on the face. Although it can affect anyone, melasma is much more common in women than in men, with an estimated 90% of cases occurring in women. This is largely due to hormonal factors, particularly those related to estrogen and progesterone, which are believed to trigger the overproduction of melanin that leads to melasma. However, men can still develop melasma, especially if they have a genetic predisposition to the condition and are exposed to its triggers, such as sun exposure. Melasma is also a skin condition is particularly prevalent in individuals with darker skin tones such as Hispanic and Asian, especially in Texas.

At VPharmacy, we work with medical practices to provide specific formulation of a compounded cream for melasma. Dermatologists and medical clinics supervised under a physician often start with milder formulations, gradually adjusting the concentration or combination of active ingredients based on the patient’s response to the treatment and ongoing control of melasma. While there is no cure for melasma, compounded medication can help lighten and control melasma.

How can VPharmacy Compounding Help with Melasma?

VPharmacy provides personalized treatment options as prescribed by physicians to customize formulations, adjust dosages, combine multiple active ingredients, and eliminate irritants makes compounded treatments a valuable option for many patients struggling with melasma. Patients interested in compounded treatments for melasma should consult with a dermatologist who can work directly with us to create a tailored treatment plan.

What are the Active Ingredients in VPharmacy’s Compounding Treatments for Melasma?

At VPharmacy, we provide compounded creams for the treatment of melasma that are tailored to address the hyperpigmentation by combining various active ingredients that work through different mechanisms to reduce the appearance of dark patches. The formulation of a compounded cream can be customized to suit the specific needs and skin sensitivities of an individual. Here are some active ingredients commonly found in compounded creams for melasma: While there’s no cure for melasma, several treatments can help lighten the dark patches:


Hydroquinone is a depigmenting agent that reduces the formation of melanin in the skin. It’s often considered the gold standard in treating melasma, available in concentrations ranging from 2% to 4% for over-the-counter and prescription products, respectively. Higher concentrations can be compounded as prescribed.


Kojic acid is another tyrosinase inhibitor derived from fungi. It’s used for its skin-lightening properties and is often included in compounded creams as an alternative or adjunct to hydroquinone.


Tretinoin, a form of vitamin A, promotes skin turnover and can help in the treatment of melasma by accelerating the shedding of pigmented skin cells. It also enhances the penetration of other active ingredients.


Corticosteroids are added to compounded formulations to reduce inflammation and can enhance the efficacy of other depigmenting agents. They are used in low concentrations to avoid long-term side effects.


Though traditionally used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss, tranexamic acid has been found effective in treating melasma when applied topically. It works by inhibiting plasmin, which can reduce melanocyte activity.


Niacinamide is beneficial for skin barrier improvement and has been shown to reduce the appearance of skin hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.


Azelaic acid is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production. It’s considered effective and safe for treating melasma, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin or those who cannot tolerate hydroquinone.


Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that can also inhibit melanin production. It’s added to melasma treatments to brighten the skin and provide antioxidant protection against UV damage.