Hydroquinone: Is the Cure Worse Than the Problem?

In today’s modern day world, each society tends to set its standards when it comes to things such as how people dress, the kind of food they eat, or even how they look. This is why there are certain communities where people with a darker skin pigmentation or dark spots on their skin are often seen as less attractive, which is something that has pushed them to lighten or even out their skin tones. To achieve their objectives, they often use pharmaceutical drugs and creams.


One of the most widely used skin bleaching substance is hydroquinone, also known as 1, 4-benzenediol in the medical world. The element in question, however, comes with its disadvantages. This is why experts recommend that people wanting to use it only get it from your dermatologist as opposed to over the counter.

Hydroquinone can cause both internal and external health problems in your body as well as on your skin if used without a prescription.

With a never-ending deliberation on whether it is safe to continue using hydroquinone, thousands of hours have been spent by research scientists with the aim of putting the matter to rest. In fact, despite its use over the past five decades, hydroquinone has received its fair share of criticism and has even been prohibited in a number of countries.

One of the main reasons for this is that a majority of the experiments carried out on it have revealed that continued usage of the said substance may lead to grave health problems as well as severe skin complications.

The manner in which hydroquinone works is that it reduces the quantity at which your skin is able to produce melanin. This situation is what causes an imbalance in the cells that help make the melanin. Considering the high numbers of negative reviews and tainted reputation hydroquinone has had, it is only safe to assume that its demerits outweigh its merits.

It is, however, necessary to state that hydroquinone happens to be very effective when used to treat skin blemishes, but this does not mean that we forget the side effects that tag along.

As mentioned earlier, long-term usage of hydroquinone has been shown to cause damage to the cells in your skin, thereby leading to their mutation. As a result, the skin becomes uneven, rough, and very thick. In some cases, one may even develop bulges.

What to remember when using hydroquinone

When you are continually using hydroquinone, it is advisable that you avoid direct sunlight at all times. This is because exposure to the sun may worsen a case of spots on the skin, which beats the logic of using hydroquinone in the first place.

As a result, you should consider using sunscreen at all times when outdoors since hydroquinone tends to react negatively to sun rays and in some cases can even become deadly.

Hydroquinone is also known to aggravate the skin, especially for users with sensitive skin types. Although this happens to be one of the least serious of effects brought about by the substance, it can still be a significant cause of discomfort to the user and in some cases result in the skin turning red. This particular side effect is also known as contact dermatitis.

If you happen to have or suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, it is also advisable that you keep away from hydroquinone or any other type of drug containing the chemical. This is especially of high importance if you happen to suffer from any liver or kidney illnesses.

The main reason for this that hydroquinone reduces melanin, which makes it readily absorbable into the bloodstream with each application.

Dark skinned folks who turn to hydroquinone may not receive the result that they expect. Even though this may seem a bit ironic, the fact remains that continued usage of the chemical by individuals with dark skin only results in their skin getting darker, which is another of its side effects known as ochronosis.


Hydroquinone should typically be used only as a last resort when it comes to the treatment of skin blemishes and old spots. Considering all the health hazards related to the said substance, you should only think about using it when all other alternatives fail. Instead of choosing hydroquinone for your skin, you should consider using other natural options which you can find browsing our website.


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