Our expert says:
Hi Matty, thank you for the question.
Hydroquinone decreases the formation of melanin in the skin (Melanin is the pigment in skin that gives it a brown color). Hydroquinone topical is used to lighten areas of darkened skin such as freckles, age spots, chloasma, and Melasma (Hydroquinone topical may also be used for other purposes and If used correctly it is a safe and effective treatment for pigmentation).
The list of precautions and directions (see below) may help your friend in using the product correctly and if these guidelines are followed and the hydroquinone has been specifically prescribed by the dermatologist it should be 100% safe.
Precautions and Directions:
Before using hydroquinone topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver or kidney disease. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.
This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether hydroquinone topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not use hydroquinone topical on skin that is sunburned, ‘wind burned’, dry, chapped, or irritated, or on an open wound. It could make these conditions worse.
Wait until these conditions have healed before applying hydroquinone topical.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Do not use other medicated skin products unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Hydroquinone topical can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Hydroquinone topical is for external use only. Wash your hands before and after applying this medication, unless you are treating a skin area on your hand.
Apply the medication to clean, dry skin. Apply just enough medication to cover the affected area. Avoid applying to the unaffected surrounding skin. Rub in the medication gently and completely.
Avoid getting this medication on your lips or inside your nose or mouth. Hydroquinone may cause numbness of these areas. If the medication does get on any of these areas, rinse with water.
It is important to use hydroquinone topical regularly to get the most benefit.
Store hydroquinone topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.