The Cost Of Skin Hyperpigmentation Treatment

The Cost Of Skin Hyperpigmentation Treatment

Most people with melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation have tried many over-the-counter options to achieve clear skin. These options range from expensive serums to lightening creams that promise clear skin but deliver minimal results. What is the cost of skin hyperpigmentation treatment that works?

The Costs Of Clear Skin

How much would you be willing to pay for skin hyperpigmentation treatment?

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology set out to answer this exact question. The authors surveyed 85 adults, mostly women with melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and measured how much each person would be willing to pay for a treatment to improve their skin hyperpigmentation.

The study authors speculated that the impact of skin hyperpigmentation on quality of life was significant, as the respondents stated they would spend over $80 per month in order to achieve a 50% improvement in their condition. They were even willing to spend 13% of their monthly income on a treatment that would completely cure them.

Hyperpigmentation Quiz

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A Serious Time Commitment

The same study went one step further and asked participants how much time they were willing to spend to achieve clear skin. After all, another cost of skin hyperpigmentation treatment is time.

All types of treatment for melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation take time. For example, topical treatments can take months of daily application to improve your skin tone. This kind of time investment should yield optimal results, right?

The adults in the study felt the same way. They were willing to spend up to 1.4 hours per day on a treatment that was guaranteed to cure them.

There is a mountain of research that supports the effectiveness of topical combination treatments for skin hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, most people do not immediately choose proven prescription treatments due to factors such as cost and ease of access.


  • Maymone MB, Rajanala S, Widjajahakim R, et al. Willingness-to-pay and Time Trade-off: The Burden of Disease in Patients with Benign Hyperpigmentation. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019;12(5):46–48
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.

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