Hydroquinone Skin Bleaching – What the Experts Say
Hydroquinone skin bleaching products are available in both over the counter and prescription strength products in the United States. Both over the counter and prescription hydroquinone skin bleaching products are topical use remedies intended to lighten small areas of discolored skin. For example, moles, freckles, “liver spots,” and other skin discolorations are often treated, at least initially, with one of the many variations of hydroquinone skin bleaching products. Patients have the option of purchasing products over the counter without seeing a doctor. For tougher areas, they can get a prescription for stronger hydroquinone skin bleaching creams that have nearly double the potency of over the counter products.
In terms of over the counter versus prescription strength hydroquinone Skin Bleaching products, there are specific differences. Over the counter hydroquinone skin bleaching cream must have a concentration of hydroquinone under 2%. Prescription hydroquinone creams normally have a concentration of roughly 4%. Some hydroquinone skin bleaching products will also contain tretinoin, mercury iodine, or glucocorticoids. Some experts argue that hydroquinone at concentrations of 4% or greater pose potential health risks. Still other professionals and experts argue that the health risks stem from the other ingredients such as mercury iodine. Mercury has long been known to have carcinogenic properties.
Unfortunately, experts also say that hydroquinone skin bleaching products are the primary topical remedy used for lightening skin. Some even claim that hydroquinone skin bleaching creams and gels have antioxidant properties. Nevertheless, several countries in Europe, including France, have banned the use of hydroquinone due to its association with leukemia and other cancers in lab animals. It is, however, still legal in the United States, as well as other developed countries.
In many instances, hydroquinone is combined with both tretinoin and cortisone. The effects of such hydroquinone skin bleaching products, some experts argue, includes a better result in terms of skin lightening. Since hydroquinone skin bleaching products that also include tretinoin commonly cause mild skin irritation, cortisone is added to reduce this side effect. Again, there are experts for and against such hydroquinone skin bleaching creams and gels. Some argue cortisone is likewise risky when used over the long term and at high concentrations. Others argue that these products are not intended to be used long term and the concentrations of these medications are low enough not to warrant concern. However, when it is your skin and your health, the raising of such issues becomes necessary.