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Hi everyone,

I'm suffering from skin pigmentation that has not been properly diagnosed but that from what I read on the web may well be melasma. It isn't too bad at the moment but I don't like it one little bit and definitely don't want it to get worse. Would using hydrocortisone on the area be OK? As I read this can fade pigmentation rapidly and helps many people who appear to be in the same boat. I still want to know more before I take the plunge and start using it though. 

Experiences welcome!!!

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For skin pigmentation, here are some remedies that you may want to investigate:

  • Corticosteroids including hydrocortisone, yes. 
  • Tretinoin/Retin A
  • Hydroquinone (over the counter)
  • Laser treatment

Though Hydroquinone is the only over the counter treatment here, there are indications that it may not be safe for your skin. Some countries have banned its use. If I were you, I'd try to see a dermatologist and see which of the other two topical options is best suited to you. These come in many varieties. Try to see how you get along while using a topical cream and then, if that shows no improvement, consider discussing laser treatment. 

Rosie

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From what I heard that's really not something you wanna mess around with on your own. Side effects can be itching, redness, severe hives, swelling, muscle weakness, confusion, and many other weird things not actually related to the skin at all. That's why you gotta go to the doctor for this. Only he or she will be able to tell you what it is you need for your skin. DIY-ing this stuff is tempting but not advisable at all!!! Just go to the doc already and you'll get a proper diagnosis and find out what causes your pigmentation as well. 

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There are different approaches to melasma. Most people end up with a combination and then see some results. Your dermatologist should be able to offer you a regime that will work for your skin, to fade the pigmentation at least somewhat. This regime can include hydrocortisone along with kojic acid and hydroquinone for instance. Retinoids can be helpful as well. The most important thing is to pay attention to your skin and offer constant feedback if what you're using is irritating and you may need something else. Creams take a good while to produce results but that doesn't mean they do not work. You need patience.
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Hydrocortisone helped me some. I certainly wouldn't discount it. All the medications for skin pigmentation come with big lists of "scary side effects", same as any medication out there, even ibuprofen. Topical medications should be used appropriately when you really need them, again same as any other medication. You need to have a serious chat with your doctor about a serious problem and decide on the approach together. It may be that hydrocortisone is the right choice for you. Or maybe your doctor will recommend something else.

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It helped ME! That doesn't mean hydrocortisone is necessarily the best option for you personally so just drop in with your family doctor and ask what you should be doing about your pigmentation. Hydrocortisone is a good option for many people though and should not be dismissed for fear of side effects. I didn't have any. You are on the right track here, just don't take matters into your own hand and ask for medical advice first.
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