Hydroquinone Skin Lightening Cream

How Does Hydroquinone Work?

Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase, which is important in skin melanin (pigment) development. Therefore, as long as you continue to use hydroquinone, you will inhibit pigment production.

Is Hydroquinone Safe?

In darker-skinned patients, continued hydroquinone use has been associated with ochronosis, a darkening of the skin.  While this has only been documented in darker skinned patients, most physicians recommend patients use hydroquinone in four-month cycles, alternated in the off months with other milder tyrosinase inhibitors, such as azelaic acid, kojic acid, and arbutin.

Despite popular belief that hydroquinone may cause cancer (this is false), hydroquinone’s most serious human health effect is pigmentation of the eye. While this only occurs when the eye is directly exposed to hydroquinone, it is still a risk factor. It is therefore vitally important to avoid the eye area in applying hydroquinone-based creams.

Hydroquinone is not approved for use in pregnant or nursing mothers.

Never Combine Hydroquinone with Benzoyl Peroxide or Resorcinol

Use of hydroquinone with any products containing benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxides may cause temporary staining of the skin. This staining is temporary, but it’s best to avoid benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatments and oxygen-infusing skin care treatments, which typically contain hydrogen peroxide.

In addition, you also want to avoid using resorcinol with hydroquinone. Ochronosis occurrence in persons with darker skin is a well-documented occurrence with combined use of resorcinol and hydroquinone.

Products we offer containing Hydroquinone:

All hydroquinone containing creams available in our practice are by prescription only.  This means that you have to be evaluated by one of our physicians in order to receive the product.

Hydroquinone 4%: This is the most common dosage and is highly effective when used as prescribed

Hydroquinone 8%: This is a stronger dosage commonly reserved for stubborn dark spots or post-surgical or resurfacing hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin).

If you feel you could benefit from this prescription, please call our offices to schedule your consultation.