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 not listed in this medication guide.
Before using hydroquinone topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver or kidney disease.
Do not use hydroquinone topical on skin that is sunburned, windburned, 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 getting this medication in your mouth or eyes. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse with water.
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.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using hydroquinone topical and call your doctor if you have severe burning, stinging, or other irritation of your skin after apply the medication.
Less serious side effects may include mild burning, stinging, itching, redness, or irritation of treated skin.
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.
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