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What is hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is a chemical substance that acts as a skin-lightening agent. It can lighten the dark parts of the skin occurring due to hyperpigmentation or some kind of injury. Hydroquinone is a depigmentation agent for the skin as it reduces the formation of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its unique brownish hue. Hydroquinone is available in cream, emulsion, gel, and lotion forms and can be purchased over the counter.

What are the uses of hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent that treats darker skin patches. The chemical is useful to treat dark skin that may occur due to:

  • Melasma
  • Chloasma
  • Acne scars
  • Lentigines or darkening due to sun exposure
  • Freckles or dark patches on fair skin
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Pregnancy
  • Intake of birth control pills
  • Hormonal changes

Depending on your skin condition and its cause, you can get a medical opinion from our team of experts.

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What Are the side effects of hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is generally safe to use. However, there are some common side effects associated with it. These include:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Skin irritation
  • Itching
  • Redness on skin
  • Extreme dryness
  • Stinging

According to researchers, prolonged use of hydroquinone may lead to the development of exogenous ochronosis. This condition causes blue-black pigmentation on the affected parts of the body. You may check with our experts to get more information about the precautions, dosage, and side effects of hydroquinone.

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FAQ's

1. What happens when you stop using hydroquinone cream?

Hydroquinone may prove beneficial for a maximum of five to six months. Once you stop using it, you may experience irritation on the affected parts of your body. This may lead to inflammation. This inflammation may be dangerous as your skin then begins to build resistance to the treatment after a certain time.

2. How to treat hydroquinone-damaged skin?

According to doctors, damage caused by the application of hydroquinone can be reversed by exposing the affected area to the sun. Also, you are recommended to use strong sunscreen along with hydroquinone. In case of irritation, apply anti-itch cream to the infected skin. Home remedies like an oatmeal bath or using coconut oil on the affected area may also help.

3. Is hydroquinone safe for skin?

In general, hydroquinone is safe. However, in the case of dry or sensitive skin, there is a possibility of further dryness or irritation. For dark skin, applying hydroquinone cream can even worsen hyperpigmentation. Besides, this chemical contains inactive ingredients such as sulfites that alleviate allergic reactions. Medical advice should be taken if you already have asthma or skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

4. Does hydroquinone cause acne?

No, hydroquinone does not cause acne. Rather, it treats acne and the scars resulting from acne. After the acne is treated, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may occur on the affected area. This may be as troubling as acne itself. Hydroquinone bleaches the affected area and decreases the number of melanocytes yielding clear skin.

5. Does hydroquinone cause cancer?

There is no evidence of a risk of cancer developing due to topical application of hydroquinone on the skin. However, its long-term use can reduce the thickness of the topmost layer of skin. This may increase the risk of skin cancer or skin damage. Even very high doses of hydroquinone may lead to skin cancer.

6. When to stop hydroquinone before pregnancy?

It is recommended to discontinue the use of hydroquinone before you conceive. Reproductive studies on animals have claimed that hydroquinone may harm the fetus. Considering that a dosage of the same is more effective in humans, it is advised to stop using hydroquinone from the day your pregnancy test is positive. You can consult our medical experts too to know about the specifics in detail.

7. Can you use hydroquinone on lips?

Hydroquinone can be applied to the lips for whitening. However, in rare cases, a side effect of applying hydroquinone on the skin is peripheral neuropathy and sometimes, nerve damage. At times, applying hydroquinone on the lips may also cause numbness. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid using hydroquinone for lips.

8. Does hydroquinone lighten skin permanently?

No, the results of any skin lightening that hydroquinone brings about are not permanent. The effects can be seen within a couple of months or a few years at the maximum. According to medical experts, to maintain the results of skin lightening, you must adhere to a proper skincare routine and lead an appropriate lifestyle.

9. Can I use hydroquinone every day?

Yes, it is safe to use hydroquinone daily. To achieve the best results, the cream should be applied two times a day to the affected area for six months. You can apply hydroquinone along with retinoids and mid-potent steroids for long-lasting results. This also helps you avoid post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

10. What should you not use hydroquinone with?

You must never use hydroquinone with benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or any other peroxide products because this combination can create dark stains on the skin. Wash your hands immediately with soap if you have used a peroxide product and hydroquinone together.

 

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  • By clicking on Send, you accept to receive communication from Yashoda Hospitals on email, SMS and Whatsapp.

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  • By clicking on Send, you accept to receive communication from Yashoda Hospitals on email, SMS and Whatsapp.
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