Harmful effects of Hydroquinone


What is Hydroquinone


Hydroquinone is generally known as a  depigmenting agent "skin lightener" used to lighten areas of darkened skin, it used in many whitening creams and dark mark fade treatments to remove dark spots such as freckles, age spots, chloasma, melisma, birth control pills, hormone medicine, or injury to the skin. it decreases the formation of melanin within the skin. Melanin is accountable for the pigmentation of the skin.


Key facts about Hydroquinone Usage

Without a doubt, it is very effective in treating hyperpigmentation issues. However, its safety is also highly questionable. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule that it is considered "generally recognized as safe and effective," or GRASE.

Depending on the concentration of hydroquinone in your skin lightener, you will get adequate results; but, there are best-known side effects you ought to be aware of when using a hydroquinone-based bleaching cream.


  • A cosmetic skin-lightening product containing the aforesaid usually have a strident scent akin to bleach, and if truth be told, they're typically named as "bleaching creams."


  • Hydroquinone works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which is very important in skin pigment (melanin) development. It is necessary to remember that melanin truly provides protection against ultraviolet radiation. It is more effective than any sunscreen best-known to man. It diffuses ultraviolet radiation and turns it into harmless heat. since hydroquinone decreases or reduces the percentage of melanin pigments in our skin, our skin becomes more sensitive to the sun. This will increase UVA and UVB exposure, that in turn, increases the risk of getting more future hyperpigmentation


  • Combining it with skin product that contains benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxides, (found in most acne treatment) is harmful to the skin. This causes temporary staining of the skin. studies have shown that hydroquinone has some carcinogenic effects when applied to the skin. It can be cytotoxic and mutagenic.Studies have conjointly shown that long term hydroquinone use will cause exogenous ochronosis, which is when your skin turns a bluish and black color
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  • 4% and above hydroquinone concentration is usually thought of by most dermatologists to be one amongst the foremost effective skin-lightening and age spot-brightening agents. Overall, it's thought to be safer for Caucasians and white Asians however not as safe for darker-skinned individuals (Africans). Hydroquinone not only inhibits melanin production to assist lighten skin, however long term use will truly damage your pigment cells.


Effects of Hydroquinone :

Using it is counter-productive. It defeats the aim that you want it to realize.

You want glowing, radiant, healthy and brighter skin. The long-term use only leads to these horrible signs and effects: unseemly dark knuckles and ankles, unsightly purplish varicose veins, a patchwork of colors on once beautiful skin.

Eye Effect

Hydroquinone clearly contains an established serious side-effect on humans because it causes pigmentation of the eye and permanent corneal injury.

This solely happens once the eye is directly exposed to hydroquinone (So if you're still bent on using hydroquinone primarily based product, avoid direct contact with the eyes).


Skin Irritation

A common effect associated with hydroquinone is skin irritation; continued use of hydroquinone has been associated with ochronosis, which is a skin disorder characterized by the progressive sooty darkening of the skin. it shouldn't be used on skin that's dry, chapped, sunburnt or already irritated, nor should it be applied to an open wound. Irritation may be reduced by avoiding the utilization of harsh cleansing agents, such as soaps and shampoos, hair dye, permanent waves, cream depilatories, waxes made for hair removal and products containing alcohol, lime, spices and other astringents. Avoid using medicated products unless instructed by a medical practitioner.

it thins out the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), which is dangerous especially during or post-surgical procedures, as it may take the skin a long time to heal from cuts, wounds and/or stitches.




Sun Sensitivity

It makes your skin additional sensitive to the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays, It whitens skin by killing your skin’s pigment cells.

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It also degenerates collagen and elastin fibers in the skin (Note: Collagen should be strengthened in order to have a youthful, smooth and glowing skin). However, if you're attempting to fade sun spots, freckles and other types of hyperpigmentation, sun protection is essential. If you live in a tropical region, the combination of hydroquinone and the sun is a bad one. Increased risk of ochronosis has been connected to excess sun exposure whereas using hydroquinone.  As such, dermatologists usually suggest to continually use hydroquinone with a sunscreen.

(Note: It is notable that even the hot African climate, sometimes, even sunscreens do not offer enough protection for the skin)



  • It ages your skin and as you get older the effects become even more pronounced. It is not a pretty sight to envision somebody whose skin has been damaged by prolonged years of hydroquinone use! Age gracefully and not with disgrace. Love your skin today so it keeps well and not disintegrate.


  • When buying a skin-lightening cream that contains the aforesaid, make sure to read the product's label first, nonprescription products can contain, by law, up to two percent of it. If the skin lightener that piques your interest doesn't specify a concentration, it is best to pass it over. If you utilize a topical cream that contains an excessive amount of hydroquinone you would possibly find yourself with discoloration that's nearly impossible to treat. Only your doctor will tell you if it's safe to use it at a concentration of over 2 %.


  • If you've got extremely stubborn hyperpigmentation problems that fully don't respond to any other kind of treatment (e.g. chemical peels, microdermabrasion and retinoids, etc.), hydroquinone may be your skin's last resort. What hydroquinone is to hyperpigmentation is what Accutane is to skin disease. it ought to only be used if and provided that you have exhausted all alternative treatment options.



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