What Are The Benefits Of Oral Tranexamic Acid For Your Skin?

What Are The Benefits Of Oral Tranexamic Acid For Your Skin?

Salicylic, hyaluronic, glycolic, and mandelic skincare acids have long been associated with effectively treating various skin conditions, including melasma. Now, the benefits of oral tranexamic acid are starting to emerge with promising data filtering in from research studies and doctors’ offices.

Tranexamic acid is a synthetic analog of lysine that, when taken orally, interrupts melanin production and reduces dark spots. In this study and this study, researchers found that oral tranexamic acid was effective in the long-term treatment of melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (Tan, Del Rosario).

Here’s a wrap-up of the top benefits of oral tranexamic acid, according to science.

The six top benefits of oral tranexamic acid for your skin

#1. Effectively treats all types of melasma

There’s currently little doubt that oral tranexamic acid effectively treats epidermal, dermal, and mixed types of melasma. Individuals taking oral tranexamic acid experienced a significant reduction in dark spots and darkening within eight to twelve weeks, and the results persist as long as they continue the treatment.

Oral tranexamic acid’s current use as a skincare treatment was discovered by accident when a patient taking it for a different condition noticed her melasma improving. That was in the seventies. Over the years, multiple double-blind placebo studies have replicated these results, providing a solid scientific foundation supporting its efficacy (Colferai).

#2. Works for all skin types

Oral tranexamic acid provides comparable results across all skin types, an incredible feat when you consider many other treatments only work for specific skin types.

This is a breakthrough in skin care because most treatments, especially topical ones, must be formulated for specific skin types. This is especially challenging for individuals with combination skin. Oral tranexamic acid’s inside-out action in treating melasma makes it a suitable treatment for all skin types.

Hyperpigmentation Quiz

Our Dermatologist worked closely with experts to create a skin quiz that guides you to the best hyperpigmentation treatments on the market 👇

#3. Prevents post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a significant concern for some people, especially after dermatologic treatments like laser therapy and chemical peels. Affected individuals tend to experience an excessive production and abnormal distribution of melanin.

One study found oral tranexamic acid to effectively prevent PIH in multiple scenarios, including after acute skin injuries like abrasion, thermal burns, and irritant dermatitis (Lindgren). It concluded that individuals taking oral tranexamic acid could expect a significant reduction in PIH development, with similar benefits replicated in other types of hyperpigmentation.

#4. No major side effects

One of the important benefits of oral tranexamic acid for skin care is its few known side effects, making it an excellent option for individuals with sensitivity to other skin treatments. The only side effect reported was mild stomach discomfort in some individuals, with the rest showing no side effects (Wang).

A major side effect that oral tranexamic acid side steps is skin dryness, which occurs with repeated topical use of most skin acids (including topical tranexamic acid). Individuals taking oral tranexamic acid show no signs of skin dryness and can safely use it as a long-term and effective treatment for persistent melasma.

#5. Reduces skin sensitivity to UV rays

Scientists believe oral tranexamic acid inhibits melanocytes’ ability to create melanin, which, in turn, appears to reduce skin sensitivity to UV exposure.

In one study, researchers exposed skin to UV radiation and, after subsequent treatment with oral tranexamic acid, found a significant reduction in melanin formation (Li).

These breakthrough results demonstrate how oral tranexamic acid stops the formation of melanin at its source, making it a safe and highly effective treatment option.

#6. Pairs well with other skin therapies

Orally taking tranexamic acid makes it an excellent candidate for use with other topical skincare formulations like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, and SPF sunscreen.

While oral tranexamic acid is highly effective in reducing the amount of melanin in the skin, these other treatments can help improve the skin’s elasticity, moisture retention, and brightness.

In most cases, pairing treatments this way will have no side effects because oral and topical treatments do not necessarily interact directly with each other.

Oral tranexamic acid benefits FAQs

How long do oral tranexamic acid skin benefits last?

Individuals taking oral tranexamic acid for melasma typically start seeing results after eight to twelve weeks. However, when they stop taking it, results wear off over three months, with initial symptoms coming back in full effect by the end of that period.

The scientific reason for this is that oral tranexamic acid acts as a melanin inhibitor. If it remains present in the body, it continually prevents the excessive production of melanin and keeps the skin evenly toned. When stopped, melanin production resumes, resulting in a return of the original symptoms.

How to maximize the benefits of oral tranexamic acid

The best way to maximize the benefits of oral tranexamic acid is to speak with a medical professional on the best dosage you should take, as well as other treatments you can pair it with. Since melasma symptoms vary from individual to individual, it is essential to have a tailor-made treatment formulation that meets your needs.

For example, here at ClearifiRX, all of our treatments are uniquely formulated to match the individual skin profiles and needs of every individual we treat. Therefore, getting the correct oral tranexamic acid formulation is the best way to maximize the benefits of oral tranexamic acid.

Do higher doses of oral tranexamic acid give better results?

Before addressing this question, it is critical to note that oral tranexamic acid is a prescription-only drug that can be dangerous if taken in the wrong way. That’s why we recommend speaking with a medical professional before taking it.

That said, the effectiveness of oral tranexamic acid will depend on an individual’s response to the treatment at different dosage levels. For instance, some might have excellent results at a very low dosage, while others will need a slightly higher one to see better results.

Speak to a healthcare professional to ensure you get the dosage that gives you the best results.

In summary

The benefits of oral tranexamic acid are manifold, making it one of the most exciting breakthrough treatments for melasma in recent years. Individuals with refractory (stubborn) melasma can expect to see better results from taking oral tranexamic acid either as a stand-alone treatment or as part of a regimen.

Alongside these benefits, it is also necessary to look at the other side of the coin and explore the possible side effects of oral tranexamic acid, especially considering that doctors initially used it to treat bleeding disorders.


Brandon Kirsch

Brandon Kirsch, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in clinical drug development and medical innovation. He is the founder of Kirsch Dermatology in Naples, Florida and is also the Chief of Dermatology at the Naples Community Hospital. Kirsch Dermatology Website Dr. Kirsch started his career as a lawyer and holds law degrees from the University of Western Ontario (LL.B.) and Georgetown (LL.M. Securities and Financial Regulation). Dr. Kirsch completed his pre-medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania, medical school at Brown University, internship at the Mayo Clinic (Florida) and dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina. In partnership with the Mayo Clinic, he filed to patent a novel topical composition for the treatment of skin hyperpigmentation that he co-developed and also oversaw a successful pilot study of the formulation. Dr. Kirsch has experience with therapeutic drug development programs from pre-clinical to Phase 3 studies. He is licensed to practice medicine in California, Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina and law in New York and Ontario.

Recent Posts