Kligman’s Formula is a prescription only formulation that consists of 5% hydroquinone, 0.1% tretinoin, and 0.1% dexamethasone in hydrophilic ointment. Developed by Dr Albert Kligman, the combination is used to treat conditions involving hyperpigmentation – Melasma, age spots and scars.
The ingredients in Kligman’s formula are designed to work together. The hydroquinone helps to stop the formation of pigmentation by inhibiting tryosinase, the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. Tretinoin helps to stimulate the production of healthy, new skin cells and it may also assist with the absorption of hydroquinone. Dexamethasone is a mild steroid, which is incorporated to help minimize skin irritation that may arise from the hydroquinone and tretinoin in Kligman’s formula.
Kligman’s formula must be prescribed by a physician and can be compounded by a specialist pharmacy. Your physician will be able to determine if the combination is appropriate for your condition.
If you would rather use a product that doesn’t require a prescription, you may wish to consider a product formulated with 4% hydroquinone as found in Lustra, Lustra AF, Neostrata HQ Plus Cream, Neostrata HQ Gel or Glyquin XM. All these products contain the added benefit of glycolic acid, which can assist with the removal of existing pigmentation and enhance the absorption of hydroquinone. Used as directed, they may make a suitable alternative to Kligman’s formula.