Tranexamic Acid

Tranexamic acid, also known as epsilon-aminocaproic acid (EACA), is a synthetic medication used to control excessive bleeding. It works by inhibiting the breakdown of blood clots, thereby minimizing blood loss. Tranexamic acid has a wide range of applications in medicine, including trauma, surgery, obstetrics, and dermatology. It is also available over-the-counter in some countries for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding.

In this article, Chanh Beauty will give you all information about this ingredient.

What is Tranexamic Acid?

Tranexamic acid is a lysine analogue that binds to plasminogen and plasmin, preventing them from cleaving fibrin clots. Fibrin is a protein that forms the meshwork of blood clots, and its breakdown can lead to excessive bleeding. By inhibiting plasminogen and plasmin, tranexamic acid helps to stabilize blood clots and reduce blood loss.

What is it?

Mechanism of Action

Tranexamic acid works by reversibly binding to the lysine-binding sites on plasminogen and plasmin. This prevents these enzymes from cleaving fibrin clots, thereby stabilizing them and reducing blood loss. Tranexamic acid has a higher affinity for plasminogen than plasmin, so it is more effective at preventing the formation of new clots than breaking down existing ones.

Benefits of Tranexamic Acid

Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a medication that has been around for many decades. It's primarily used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss from major trauma, postpartum bleeding, surgery, tooth removal, nosebleeds, and heavy menstruation. However, in recent times, TXA has gained popularity in the world of dermatology for its potential benefits for the skin.

Here are some of the benefits of tranexamic acid for skin:

Reduced dark spots and discoloration: TXA can act as a brightening agent to reduce dark spots and improve hyperpigmentation. It works by interfering with melanin production, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. Studies have shown that tranexamic acid is effective in lessening the appearance of hyperpigmentation with little risk of serious side effects.

Tranexamic Acid for hyperpigmentation

  • Fades sun spots: TXA may also be able to fade skin damage due to UV exposure, such as sun spots and age spots.
  • Improves redness: TXA may help reduce sun-related redness and inflammation.

It's important to note that tranexamic acid is not a cure for any skin condition. However, it may be a helpful addition to your skincare routine if you are concerned about dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or sun damage.

Its benefits

Side Effects of Tranexamic Acid

The most common side effects of tranexamic acid are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

More serious side effects of tranexamic acid can include:

  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Kidney problems

Tranexamic acid can also interact with other medications, so it is important to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting tranexamic acid.

How to Use Tranexamic Acid for Beginners

How to use it?

Choosing a tranexamic acid product:

  • Form: Tranexamic acid comes in various forms like serums, gels, and creams. Beginners might prefer serums as they tend to be lightweight and absorb easily.
  • Concentration: Start with a lower concentration (around 2-5%) to minimize irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. You can gradually increase concentration later if needed and your skin tolerates it well.

Patch Testing:

  • Apply a small amount of the product to your inner forearm and wait 24 hours. Discontinue use if you experience any redness, itching, or burning.

Incorporating into your routine:

  • Frequency: Begin with once-a-day application, preferably at night. You can increase to twice daily if your skin tolerates it well.
  • Placement: Cleanse your face and pat it dry. Apply a pea-sized amount to targeted areas or your entire face, avoiding the eye area.
  • Layering: Apply tranexamic acid after cleansing and toner but before moisturizer and sunscreen.

Sun protection:

  • Tranexamic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Consistent daily use of SPF 30 or higher is crucial to prevent worsening of hyperpigmentation.

Additional pointers:

  • Consistency is key: It may take 8-12 weeks to see noticeable results with tranexamic acid. Be patient and consistent with your routine.
  • Consult a dermatologist: If you have any concerns, underlying skin conditions, or are using other medications, talk to your dermatologist before using tranexamic acid. They can guide you on the best approach for your specific needs.

By following these steps, you can safely introduce tranexamic acid into your skincare routine and potentially experience its benefits for hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Remember, it's always best to start slow and prioritize sun protection for optimal results.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who should not take tranexamic acid?

Individuals with a history of blood clots, certain types of bleeding disorders, or severe kidney disease should avoid tranexamic acid. Always consult a healthcare provider before use.

2. Can tranexamic acid be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

It is unlikely to be used during pregnancy. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk.

3. How long does it take for tranexamic acid to work?

The onset of action can vary depending on the condition being treated and the mode of administration, but effects are typically observed within a few hours.

4. Can tranexamic acid be used for skin treatments?

Yes, tranexamic acid is increasingly used in dermatology to treat hyperpigmentation and melasma by reducing the production of melanin.

5. Is a prescription required for tranexamic acid?

Yes, tranexamic acid typically requires a prescription from a healthcare provider.

6. What should I do if I miss a dose of tranexamic acid?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. Do not double the dose.

7. Can tranexamic acid interact with other medications?

Yes, tranexamic acid can interact with other medications. It's important to inform your doctor about all medications you're taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements, before starting tranexamic acid.

8. How should tranexamic acid be stored?

Tranexamic acid should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Keep it out of reach of children.

9. Are there any dietary restrictions while taking tranexamic acid?

There are no specific dietary restrictions while taking tranexamic acid, but it's always best to follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

10. Can Tranexamic acid combine with other skincare ingredients?

Tranexamic acid can be combined with other skincare ingredients, but it's important to be aware of potential interactions and use it correctly. Here's a summary of compatibility with common skincare ingredients:

Generally compatible ingredients:

  • Vitamin C: Tranexamic acid and vitamin C can work together to brighten and even out skin tone.

  • Niacinamide: Niacinamide and tranexamic acid can complement each other in reducing hyperpigmentation and improving overall skin tone.

  • Hyaluronic acid: Tranexamic acid doesn't interfere with hyaluronic acid's hydrating properties, and they can be used together in a skincare routine.

Ingredients to use with caution:

  • Retinoids: Retinoids can make the skin more sensitive, so it's best to introduce tranexamic acid slowly and use a gentle moisturizer when using both.

  • AHAs/BHAs: Tranexamic acid is an AHA, so using it with other AHAs or BHAs (like glycolic acid or salicylic acid) can increase the risk of irritation. It's best to alternate their use or use milder formulations.

While tranexamic acid offers promising benefits for various skin concerns, it's crucial to remember it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Consult your doctor before incorporating it into your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding. With proper guidance and consistent use, tranexamic acid can be a valuable addition to your skincare regimen, helping you achieve a more even and radiant complexion. So, if you're looking to address hyperpigmentation or sun damage, consider exploring the potential of tranexamic acid for your unique skin needs