How Does Hydroquinone Work?

Hydroquinone works to lighten the skin by reducing the number of melanocytes present. Melanocytes are the cells in your skin that generate pigmentation and define the color of your skin. In certain skin disorders, melanocytes may work overtime, darkening skin or patches of skin. Hydroquinone comes in OTC and prescription varieties. If home use of the substance does not work effectively, a dermatologist can prescribe a stronger variety.

Conditions Treated by Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is particularly effective at treating skin conditions that have left scarring or hyperpigmentation on the skin, including melasma, acne scarring, age spots and sun damage. Some patients may wish to use hydroquinone to reduce the appearance of freckles as well. The topical cream is also useful in alleviating the appearance of post-inflammatory marks that result from psoriasis or eczema.

Related Conditions

Acne Scars

Acne scars are the marks left on skin that has been affected by acne. They can be triggered by cystic lesions, picking and scratching. Learn More


Freckles are a common skin condition and non-life threatening that typically appear as small brown spots. Learn More


Also known as chloasma faciei or the "mask of pregnancy," melasma is a condition that most commonly affects women. Learn More

Sunspots & Sun Damage

Sunspots and sun damage, sometimes referred to as liver spots or age spots, are small flat and dark areas on the skin. Learn More

Other Treatments

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