Hydroquinone is widely used as a treatment for skin conditions such as hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin. It’s mostly found in prescription products and usually not sold over the counter or website because it’s banned in most countries for its serious side effects.
When hydroquinone is used for more than a few weeks, it can cause conditions such as ochronosis, a rash that looks like blue-black spots and may be painful to touch and thicker in skin density.
Hydroquinone has been associated with serious side effects such as increased risk of cancer seen in tests done on rats, but the test have not been confirmed in humans. The chemical is also said to cause nail discoloration, cornel melanosis and degeneration, conjunctiva pigmentation, decreased skin elasticity and peripheral neuropathy.
Why hydroquinone is still being used
There are many people with skin conditions like hyper-pigmentation and hypo-pigmentation who require a bleaching agent to give their skin an even tone. This is because many people want to look normal and it’s actually a valid reason to prescribe a cream containing a chemical with such risks.
This would be, at least a valid reason, to keep selling this product. Hydroquinone is widely used because it is cheaper compared to other skin lightening products in the market. If there was another cheaper option that can bleach the skin without any dangerous side effects then this chemical wouldn’t be in the market.
It also guarantees quick and good results. You shouldn’t however ignore the side effects of hydroquinone and if they appear fast then you should stop using the product and seek the help of a dermatologist.
The side effects normally disappear with time as your skin adjusts to the change. But sometimes the side effects may worsen in some people. Therefore, before you start applying the hydroquinone cream, it is important that you test its suitability on the skin with the help of a dermatologist. Some effects to note include:
• You will notice a mild burning sensation when you start applying the cream
• Continued use may also cause reddening of the affected area
• The use the hydroquinone products may also cause swelling and itching of the skin and a tingling sensation.
• The cream may also cause skin dryness and increased skin sensitivity. The skin becomes sensitive and your dermatologist would definitely recommend you to stop using.
• Constant use of hydroquinone creams make people sensitive to the sun and have to apply a sunscreen every day.
• Severe side effects include swelling of mouth and lips, allergic reactions like hives and rashes, appearance of black and blue pigments and formation of blisters on the skin.
Precautions of usage
• Hydroquinone creams shouldn’t be used by pregnant women
• You should also use it under the prescription of a dermatologist because the creams vary in concentration levels
• Avoid using hydroquinone creams around your eyes to prevent skin rash and other related side effects
• Avoid using skin products that contain hydrogen peroxide with the cream. In case you use it accidentally, you should clean your hands at once with soap.