Hydroquinone is the Right Solution for Hyper-pigmentation
Hydroquinone is a chemical complex that is in a white crystalline form that is often found in skin care products to remove pigmentation from the skin. It is also known as quinol and has a scented base that is an ingredient in over the counter products with 2% or less concentration. Any concentration higher than 2% requires a prescription from a physician.
Hydroquinone is the main ingredient that is usually to be found in a cream or lotion that is designed to lighten skin discoloration or hyper-pigmentation. Many people have freckles or birth marks that give them uneven skin tones that they might consider unsightly. Others might have skin that has been damaged by the sun thus producing discoloration, while still others might have visible signs of aging like brown spots or skin that is darker in some areas. There are many products on the market designed to combat these darker skin areas and most of them contain hydroquinone.
Melanin and Skin Pigmentation
Pigment in the skin is called melanin and if you have excessive sun exposure or scarring that part of the skin will become darker. Melanin is what protects the skin against UV rays from the sun. That is why people with white skin require more protection such as sunscreens than someone with black skin – because people with black skin have more melanin in their skin naturally. Some people with white skin have some natural darker skin areas like freckles or from a skin condition like vitiligo where the skin produces different areas of the skin – some light and some dark – so that their skin tones are uneven.
Treatment for Hyper-pigmentation
People who have skin conditions like hyper-pigmentation or brown spots caused by premature aging skin and skin damaged from the sun want to take steps to even out their skin tones. Hydroquinone is one of the most popular ingredients used to bleach or reduce discoloration in the skin. It is a dynamic bleaching agent that will stop the skin color pigment melanin. At the same time, it will start breaking down any existing melanin that is already in the area of the skin that is being treated. In other words, it will immediately stop production of melanin in that particular area of the skin and will remove any excessive melanin as well.
Types of Products
Hydroquinone is often found in bleaching or skin lightening creams or lotions that are designed to be used over a period of time to achieve the results you are looking for. It is an easy to use way of skin bleaching that can be done at home without dermabrasion or other types of treatments that require down time and are more expensive and usually performed in a physician’s office. These hydroquinone creams are a convenient and cost effective way to treat these spots that are often unattractive if left untreated.
Use of Hydroquinone
As with any product that you are unfamiliar with, you should first perform a test on a small area of the skin to determine if you have any reaction or irritation to the skin. You should always cleanse the area first and apply the cream to the designated area and massage it gently into the skin. It should not be applied to any areas of normal skin otherwise it will lighten that area too. You should always wash your hands thoroughly after each application. You generally apply the hydroquinone cream twice daily and usually you will see results in approximately three weeks although it will vary with each individual and will usually take up to four months.
Are There any Side Effects?
Some people experience skin irritation that usually will clear up upon discontinuing the application of the product. This could include redness or itchy skin or other types of dermatitis or allergic reactions. If the condition continues or you develop other reactions like crusty skin or swelling, you should contact a physician immediately. It is not recommended if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Hydroquinone should not have any reaction with medications that you are taking but a physician will be able to determine what the problem is and make recommendations on an alternative for your skin discoloration or hyper-pigmentation problems.