Melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy,” can be a source of embarrassment and frustration for those suffering from it, and finding an effective treatment can be challenging.
Melasma is a common skin condition characterised by dark, discoloured patches on the skin. Hormonal changes, sun exposure, and certain medications often trigger it. While there are various treatments available, Accutane (isotretinoin) may be prescribed as an option.
But is accutane/ isotretinoin for melasma effective, and what are the pros and cons?
How Does Isotretinoin Work For Melasma Treatment?
Isotretinoin, also known by its brand name Accutane, is a powerful medication primarily used to treat severe acne. While Accutane is not specifically designed to treat melasma, it may sometimes be prescribed off-label as a potential treatment option.
Isotretinoin is a retinoid and thus it helps to improve and increase the skin turnover. This increases pigment removal through the shed skin and helps to lighten the dark patches. Moreover the improved skin turnover makes the skin thick preventing the melanin from dropping deep into the dermis which is the component of melasma best avoided. Lastly, isotretinoin also helps in boosting the action of other topical creams.
This way isotretinoin benefits melasma treatment by making the skin more stable and giving quicker effects.
Cons of Isotretinoin
While Isotretinoin is an effective melasma treatment, it carries side effects as well – It is important to note that isotretinoin should only be taken as prescribed under the guidance of a dermatologist.
Isotretinoin is banned during pregnancy as it can cause deformities in the growing fetus. Avoid isotretinoin if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy
Isotretinoin may also cause various other side effects, including dryness and sensitivity of skin, cracked lips, joint pain, and vision changes.
While accutane/ isotretinoin for melasma may have some potential benefits, it is generally not considered a first-line treatment. It is usually an additive to other treatments, such as topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy. Therefore, it’s better to consult a dermatologist before using any treatment.
If you’re struggling with melasma and are looking for effective treatment options, Clear Skin Clinics Pune is here to help! Our team of expert dermatologists can help you achieve clearer, brighter, and healthier skin with a range of personalised treatment options, including topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy.