How long should I be using Hydroquinone and Tretinoin? (Photos)

After 3 months of Zo Hyperpigmentation Complex Skin 'Old School' my pigmentation had gone. I mixed Hydroquinone 5% into my morning routine and a Hydro-Tret mix in my evening routine. My Dermotologist said that I needed to (gradually) come off the Hydro. en Tret. I am now one month later but my pigmentation is slowly coming back.. I am so upset after spending a lot of money and time, time which has not been easy due to redness, dry, flakey and spotty skin.

Doctor Answers 3

New School Solutions--Clear + Brilliant, Microneedling/prp and lightening

I recommend a combination approach to help this. I typically use clear and brilliant laser and/or microneedling/prp in combination with lightening creams to help with pigmentation. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Hydroquinones and Retin-A

If you are exposed to the sun it is possible that the pigmentation is coming back.  I would recommend cycling the bleach with other creams that are effective but do not contain hydroquinone and then re-introduce it again after a few weeks.  A chemical peel would also help a great deal at this point. Best, Dr. Green

Cycling hydroquinone and Retin A

The newest recommendation from Dr. Obagi is to cycle the hydroquinone and retin A. It doesn't mean stopping the use of products but change them out. There are several non hydroquinone products in the ZO line that can be used and retinol can replace the retin A. If you don't see the effects you like with the swap, go back onto the original products. The feeling by Dr. Obagi is that Retin A can leave the skin chronically inflamed and that Retinol is better tolerated by most. Also, hydroquinones can have a rebound effect when stopped and also make people more sensitive to the sun. Also, overuse has been shown to be detrimental and cause ochronosis. The theoretic carcinogenic effects of hydroquinone have never been seen in humans. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

You might also like...

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.