Freckled elbows and knees.

Using Hydroquinone Cream for Dark Spots

By Lizzie De La Cruz
A summertime tan used to be a sign of health and leisure—a way to show off time and money spent outside in the sunshine. Today, we know more about sun damage and the link between a “healthy” tan and skin cancer. Protecting your skin and wearing sunscreen regularly is the best way to prevent skin cancer and keep your skin smooth and glowing. Our skin is the first line of defense against the elements, and skin damage is the first clue that something might be wrong. But if you’ve already indulged in a little too much time in the sun, you can still get help with spots or scarring. Hydroquinone cream is an excellent choice for treating dark spots on skin. It’s dermatologists’ top choice for hyperpigmentation, but it is important to use this cream properly, following precautions and heeding the advice of doctors.

What is hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is a chemical compound that is used to lighten dark spots caused by melasma or hyperpigmentation from acne scarring. Used appropriately, it is not dangerous, but it does have side effects and it can cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin. Overall, though, it is safe and effective and it works to inhibit the production of melanin to give your skin a glow.

What are the benefits of using hydroquinone cream?

Hydroquinone cream helps fight hyperpigmentation caused by acne, sun damage, or hormonal changes. While hyperpigmentation is harmless, some people are bothered by the uneven skin tone it brings. Examples of hyperpigmentation due to excess melanin include melasma (often brought on by pregnancy or age), sun damage, age spots, or freckles. They can be worrying as they might be signs of other problems, but usually they are more of a nuisance. Use of hydroquinone can even out skin tone, remove some redness, and lighten and brighten the skin. Acne scarring is another problem that hydroquinone can help with. Hydroquinone cream is highly effective, but as with all skincare, consistency is key to seeing good results!

Heed your doctor’s advice

A prescription is required to buy hydroquinone cream, and patients should use the cream slowly according to the advice on the label and according to the doctor who prescribed the cream. It is not difficult to obtain, but when you get it, pay attention to how often you use it and how your skin reacts. Use it once per day only, and only increase use to twice a day after you become accustomed to it.
The label on the product will mention the percentage of the hydroquinone in the cream. A good cream to choose is one that contains between 2 and 5 percent. More than that is too much! 

Basic advice 

Always listen to the advice of your doctor. Remember that skin damage from age spots, sun damage, or acne scarring is deep, and there is no easy way to reverse it. It takes time for the pigmentation to come close enough to the surface for the creams to have an effect. Use the cream as suggested, but do a constant check to see how your skin reacts. Don’t overuse it, and take a break after three months. 
If you have concerns about spots on the skin that are darker or lighter, or if you would like to see freckles, age spots, or acne scarring disappear, then ask a wisp doctor about Hydroquinone Cream!

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