How Does One Properly Apply Hydroquinone Preparations? (photo)

I am in my early 20's w/type IV skin. I have sun damage in the form of freckling under my eyes and across my nose, some spots on my lids. I eventually want to have these spots rem. w/laser, but I can't afford it right now. So I plan on using HQ cream. I have read that HQ is not a "smart bleach," so it does not selectively target areas of darker pigment, so if it is placed on "normal" skin it will lighten it, as well. What is the best way to apply the cream so only the freckles are targeted?

Doctor Answers 1

Using hydroquinone

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The proper way to use hydroquinone is to apply it once (nightly) or twice daily as needed to areas that you want to lighten. Hydroquinone becomes less effective when sun light shines on it.  So, if you know you will spend much time outdoors on a particular day, you might want to skip the morning application so that you are not wasting the hydroquinone. All patients who use hydroquinone should also practice good sun protection, meaning wide brimmed hats, applying broad spectrum sun block daily, and trying to minimize prolonged direct sun exposure. One can generally use hydroquinone safely for up to 3 months consecutively without many side effects, other than occasional irritation or dryness. Hydroquinone can lighten skin everywhere that it is applied, but the changes don't happen overnight.  I would suggest you start using a very small amount all over the area you want to treat. Specific darker spots could improve with more targeted application of hydroquinone directly to them, even if you stop applying it all over.  Hope that helps.

Alexandria Dermatologist

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