Tri-Luma Cream

Tri-Luma® cream is a prescription-only medication applied to the skin for the treatment of melasma.

Melasma is a skin condition that appears as dark brown patches of skin on the face, neck and arms. Melasma, often referred to as the "mask of pregnancy", occurs most commonly among women with darker skin.

What is Tri-Luma Cream?

Tri-Luma® cream combines three active ingredients in a once-daily treatment for the short-term and intermittent long-term treatment of moderate to severe melasma of the face.

Tri-Luma® cream includes hydroquinone (a skin lightening agent), tretinoin (a type of topical retinoid) and hydrocortisone (a mild topical corticosteroid).

Tri-Luma® cream may be recommended for use with other melasma treatments, including microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, or chemical peels.

Applying Tri-Luma® Cream

Use Tri-Luma® Cream as instructed by your doctor. In general, Tri-Luma® Cream is recommended for use as follows:

  • Apply the medication at night, at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Gently wash your face with a mild cleanser with your fingers before applying Tri-Luma® Cream. (Do not use a wash cloth since that may lead to excessive skin irritation). Then rinse your skin with water and gently pat it dry.
  • Put a small amount (pea sized or ½ inch or less) of Tri-Luma® Cream on your fingertip and apply a thin coat onto the darkened areas.
  • Be sure to apply the medication around the border of the dark patches and include about ½ inch of normal skin that surrounds the edges.
  • Gently rub the medication lightly into your skin. The medication should quickly fade from view. If you can still see the medication, you are using too much.
  • Do not apply Tri-Luma® Cream near the corners of your nose, mouth, eyes and open wounds.
  • Do not use more Tri-Luma® Cream or apply it more often than recommended by your doctor. Too much Tri-Luma® Cream may irritate your skin and won’t give you faster or better results.
  • You may also use a moisturizer and cosmetics during the day.

Skin care tips for those with melasma

Patients with melasma should consider stopping oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy due to the large amount of estrogens in these medications that can worsen melasma.

Regular use of sunscreen with SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection is vital to protect the skin from further worsening of dark spots. Other sun avoidance measures should also be followed diligently by those with melasma.

What are the possible side effects from Tri-Luma Cream?

During use of Tri-Luma® Cream, you may experience redness, peeling, burning, dryness, itching or other skin irritation. Exposure to sunlight, sunlamps, or UV light and extreme heat, wind, or cold should be avoided since those can worsen some of these symptoms. To help avoid skin dryness, you may use a moisturizer in the morning after you wash your face.

If your skin gets too irritated, stop using Tri-Luma® Cream, and let your doctor know.

Tri-Luma® Cream may also cause a gradual blue-black darkening of your skin. If this happens, stop using the product immediately and speak to your doctor.

Read the medication guide that you receive with Tri-Luma cream prescription for a complete list of possible side effects. Speak with your doctor if you are concerned about possible side effects that you may be experiencing.


© 2010 Vivacare.
Last updated December 4, 2010.

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This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

From Your Doctor service powered by Vivacare.

Additional Resources

How to Administer
Applying Tri-Luma Cream (link to Galderma)
What to Expect
About Tri-Luma Cream (link to Galderma)
Self Care
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