Tranexamic Acid

Tranexamic Acid

Best used:  AM or PMCaution:Coagulation issues orallyBest for: Melasma, pigment, post inflammatory pigmentation
Comments: Best taken orally. Topicals may have some effectMode of action:

Vascular modulation of pigment

Science Score:

** Cream

***** Tablets


What is the skin science behind Tranexamic Acid?

Tranexamic acid provides a powerful and specific anti-inflammatory action, inhibiting pigment production in pigment cells known as melanocytes. At the same time it blocks the transfer of pigment from melanocytes to cells in the upper layers of skin. Tranexamic acid also calms the skin and helps restore the skin barrier. 

Essentially T.Acid modulates blood flow via VEGF-1 & Plasminogen receptors that interact with melanocytes. Pigment production is far more complex than addressing the pigment cell, as research has shown that many other factors contribute to pigmentation, including the interplay of blood vessels, epidermal cells, basement membrane factors, as well as fibroblasts. The science of T.Acid is the biggest breakthrough in the management of melasma of the past decade. The most robust studies have involved oral administration of this compound with doses ranging from 250 to 1000mg daily.

Rotational therapy, including the use of t.acid is the key to managing melasma. My patients are allocated one specific nurse who can guide you through your rotational cycle.

Does tranexamic acid lighten skin?

In recent times, tranexamic acid (TA) is claimed to have whitening & brightening effects especially for hyperpigmentation including melasma. This ingredient is best combined with other pigment correctors & chemical peels.

It can be combined with pico lasers or Spectra lasers for faster lightening. 

How often should I apply Tranexamic Acid?

Topical creams of this ingredient can be used up to twice a day. T.Acid can be combined with other topical pigment correctors including retinol, arbutin, azelaic acid, kojic acid, as well as ascorbic acid. In some cases I combine T.acid with Hydroquinone in a compounded formulation. T. Acid comes in a variety of vehicles including serums, creams & tablets. Always use a similar vehicle to mix, namely if you are using other pigment corrector creams, use a cream formulation of T.Acid.

As with layering any new formulation, always perform a test patch first, before full on application. You should gradually add new ingredients over a period of time to reduce the chances of skin irritation. 

Note: T.acid has marginal effects topically. It is best taken orally.


Do we microneedle tranexamic acid?

NO. For two really good reasons. Firstly (& most importantly), micro needling can break the skin’s basement membrane, leading to pigment drop out in the deeper dermal layer.

Secondly it is impractical. The channels are left open for 24-36 hours, hence optimal absorption is only with a very tiny window. You are wasting your money injecting or microneedling t.acid.

Davin’s Pro Tip on Tranexamic Acid

This ingredient is probably the most beneficial compound for the treatment of melasma & post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

PIH acne scar
Darker skin types will heal with short to medium duration pigment changes.

There is a plethora of excellent studies demonstrating the efficacy of this acid, along with many decades of safety data. The flipside is that it works best as a tablet & not a topical, however I do suspect that over the next few years better topical formulations will appear. Be guided by your skin expert as to the addition of this pigment corrector into your skin care regimen.

This natural mix can reduce most forms of pigmentation.


Join the conversation

Join Dr Davin Lim on Instagram to stay up to date


Enquire now!

Get In Touch

Quick Contact

Dr Lim has unparalleled experience in dermatology. Fill in the form below and he will get back to you with your query