Unfortunately, one of the pitfalls of being a pale Asian is being prone to melasma and dark freckle-like spotting on the face. Too bad they are not cute like freckles!
I had one spot on my left cheek that was quite prominent. It was brown, and nearly the diameter of a pencil eraser. It was bothering me a bit, as I always had to cover it up with heavy-duty concealer. However, when I last went to the dermatologist (where I seem to go all of the time!) to see about fading a dark patch of skin on my stomach from my nickel allergies (thanks to jeans) -- she recommended Tri-Luma, and said that it would also help on my face.
With a sample tube in hand, I proceeded to apply a thin layer nightly. Now, it did mention that skin irritation was one of the side effects, as was lightening of the surrounding skin. I did experience some itchiness on the patch on my stomach, and I did notice that the diameter of skin around the spot on my face was a tad whiter/paler than usual. Aside from this, though, I had good results. After about 5 weeks of continuous treatment, I have noticed that both spots have lightened significantly. In my last dermatologist appointment, I was told to continue applying nightly to my face, and only twice a week to my stomach, so as not to experience more skin irritation.
Do note that on the face, which gets more sun exposure than the stomach (I'm not a bikini model - haha) --I always use a lotion of SPF 45. The dermatologist recommended SPF 30. You must limit sun exposure also, or else the spot will return and could potentially get darker. (Yikes!)
Tri-Luma is manufactured by Galderma and is available by prescription only. Additionally, since this cream is considered for cosmetic use, insurance does not cover it... and it has a pretty hefty pricetag of around $200USD for a 30-gram tube. Try to get a sample if you can, as I have heard it does not work for everyone.
Here is the official website for further information: