Bleaching Creams 101

Posted on the behalf of Medical Dermatology Specialists on
General dermatology

It is common nature to try to find a solution to a problem. Whether you are a DIY-er or you don’t mind paying a little extra for the “good stuff,” finding the right solution to a problem often takes some trial and error. Many women who suffer from unwanted pigmentation on their faces, bleaching creams are a common option for treating this condition. One search through Pinterest will give you five recipes for creating your own bleaching cream and links to many other products that women claim to work wonders.

Not all bleaching creams are the same, but the ingredient that most have in common is hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent that is found in most bleaching creams to some percentage of strength. When used in bleaching creams, it is supposed to block the skin’s ability to produce melanin, or pigment. Hydroquinone can be used to lighten freckles, melasma, acne scars, and post-inflammatory marks caused by conditions like eczema. Women tend to put a lot of hope for more even skin tone into products that contain hydroquinone.

What are the Risks?

Hydroquinone is a very strong ingredient that should never be used without caution. While it is considered the “go-to” ingredient for treating hyperpigmentation, there are risks involved in using hydroquinone.

Many people experience skin irritation at the onset of using products with hydroquinone. Because it is attacking the over-pigmentation of certain skin cells, it can cause red, itchy, dry patches of skin. Some people are able to manage these side-effects with a mild cortisone.

Hydroquinone should not be used for longer than six-month intervals. Extended use of this product can actually result in extreme darkening of the skin known as ochronosis.

Exposure to sunlight reverses hydroquinone’s effects, so it is vital that you use a strong sunscreen in conjunction with this product.

Not all bleaching creams contain the same active ingredients or strength of hydroquinone. It is important that you discuss your concerns over skin pigmentation with a medical dermatologist. At Medical Dermatology Specialists, we have expertise in hyperpigmentation, and we offer the safest and most effective treatment available. Contact our practice today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.

Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 939-9220

Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM