Eliminating Age Spots With Hydroquinone: Benefits Versus Drawbacks

I am quite sure that if you are or had been suffering from age spots or other problems related to the skin, you most certainly have run across the term hydroquinone. However, this must be the first time you have heard of this term if age spots or alterations in skin condition are not one of your dilemma. Hydroquinone, a chemical compound, has been very helpful in the discipline of medicine, particularly in dermatology, and in other various industries as well. Because of its capability to “whiten” the skin by minimizing melanin production, it is considered to be an effective “whitening” instrument. Specifically, hydroquinone can be used in lightening various skin lesions such as age spots, scars from pimples, freckles or birth marks or in making uneven skin color even.

Hydroquinone is found in topical creams as hydroquinone alone or combined with other chemical compounds. You can pick from topical creams that have two percent hydroquinone, four percent hydroquinone or even greater percentage of hydroquinone content. In other countries, two percent hydroquinone is an/a without-a-prescription medication. But hydroquinone four percent and above can be availed of only if you have a doctor’s prescription. And other doctors themselves sell these topical applications that have higher concentrations of hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone is used primarily because of its ability to minimize the production of melanin – the pigment found in the skin and responsible for the variation in skin color. This is made possible due to its ability to stop tyrosinase – an enzyme – from producing melanin. You have to wait for at least a month before you can see its results. Dermatologists actually consider hydroquinone an effective and relatively safe skin lightener.

Though it may be really effective, some are still considered about its possible adverse effects to the users’ health. With the application of hydroquinone on the skin, it decreases the melanin and eventually increases the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation – both UVA and UVB. This, in turn, poses greater cancer risks for buyers of hydroquinone. Since the liver and the kidneys work twenty-four hours to metabolize and excrete the drugs we put into our bodies, damage to these organs is one adverse effect of hydroquinone and almost other drugs as well. Another effect similar with most drugs is the possibility of an allergic reaction – breathing problems and swelling of the face and the oral parts of the digestive system. Some might mistakenly see sunburns as age spots or skin hyper-pigmentation and horribly apply hydroquinone on them – making the condition . Skin discoloration from the normal color into blue or black, skin irritation, itching and redness, along with the development of abscesses|pustules|vesicles] are still some of hydroquinone’s unwanted effects.

In the United States, in the year 2006, the availability of hydroquinone as an over-the-counter drug was prohibited. This is because studies have shown that the application of hydroquinone caused cancers in rats. Though this only applies to rats and not to human beings, as of the moment, some still view hydroquinone as a possible cause of cancer. However, in some countries, especially those that do not have strict laws regarding medications, hydroquinone – two percent or four percent – continues to be sold not only in drugstores but also in cosmetic stores. As a general safety reminder, if you observe unusual changes, stop the treatment and consult your doctor.

Age Spots Further ReadingAge Spots Further Reading:

Age Spot Removal at Home – In Depth Interview – Removed in 14 Days

Age Spots WebsitesAge Spots Websites:

Remove Age Spots – Skin Pigmentation – Ag3derm – Melasma Treatment

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