Hydroquinone ointment – ​​what is it for, side effects and how to use it?

Hydroquinone ointment is being used a lot nowadays, to lighten the skin of the face, but many people still wonder what it is for and what problems it can cause, whether or not to use it, etc.

In addition, this ointment  is a diphenol aromatic organic compound. It is a skin depigmenting agent , used in the topical treatment of dermatological spots such as melasma , freckles, senile lentigines and hyperpigmentation caused by inflammatory processes and dermatitis.

What is the best ointment to lighten blemishes on the skin?

Hydroquinone ointment without a doubt, as it inhibits the production of melanin , the substance responsible for skin pigmentation , acting directly on its producing cells, the melanocytes. It also degrades melanosomes, species of bags that store melanin inside the cells. In addition, it blocks tyrosinase, an essential enzyme for its formation. All these actions of hydroquinone make it an efficient lightening of blemishes on the skin , making them smoother and less apparent.

What is hydroquinone ointment used for?

Hydroquinone ointment is indicated for the gradual lightening of skin blemishes such as acne, melasma , freckles, spots caused by lemon after sun exposure, age spots, chickenpox spots, lentigo and other conditions where dark spots appear on the skin .

How to use hydroquinone ointment?

At night, you should wash your face well with mild soap and rinse your skin. Then apply a small amount of skin cream (equivalent to a pea) on your dark spots, preferably half an hour before bedtime. It is important to be careful not to overuse the application.

The product should disappear and not leave your skin white. When spreading the product on the face, it is recommended to avoid some more sensitive areas, such as the eyes, the corners of the nose and the mouth. The same recommendation goes for injured areas of your skin (an inflamed pimple, for example).

In the morning, wash your face again to remove the hydroquinone ointment . Then apply a little moisturizer to prevent drying. It is also recommended to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.

When is the use of hydroquinone ointment indicated?

Hydroquinone ointment can  be used by people who wish to lighten spots on their skin , without resorting to more aggressive treatments such as laser or micro-surgery. It is a potent substance and easily irritated, so it should not be used on its own.

Ideally, there should be follow-up by a dermatologist, who will be able to indicate the appropriate amount of the product, how many times it should be applied per day, as well as other specifications.

It is also not indicated for whitening the groin and armpits. Hydroquinone ointment is  a very irritating substance and can burn, stain and darken these parts of the body even more because they are very sensitive. There are more efficient and less aggressive products on the market for whitening these areas.

What are the side effects of hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone ointment ,  when used improperly, can cause skin hypersensitivity to sunlight. That is, if you sunbathe after an application, new spots may end up appearing. Other side effects of the dermatological cream are: dryness, itching and redness .

How to avoid side effects of hydroquinone ointment?

The best way to avoid the side effects of hydroquinone ointment is to consult a dermatologist. Consulting a professional before starting treatment greatly reduces the chance of adverse effects such as allergies and irritation. In addition, only a dermatologist can prescribe the dosage, frequency of application and duration of treatment, which must be strictly followed by the patient. 

For those who are going to start a treatment with the substance, it is recommended to test it first on a small area of ​​the skin before applying it to a region of the body. If any changes appear in the test area, even if it is a slight itching or redness , discontinue use and consult your doctor.

For those who prefer not to risk it, there are other types of more natural stain whiteners, such as arbutin for example. There is no doubt that hydroquinone ointment works and is an effective skin  blemish lightener . But its use must have medical indication and monitoring.

This way, your body will be able to take better advantage of the treatment in addition to preventing the drug from causing unexpected reactions that can result in irreversible marks on the skin , or worse, damage to your health.


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Hydroquinone ointment is contraindicated in pregnancy, breastfeeding, children under 12 years of age, on irritated skin , on large areas of the body and in case of sunburn .

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