Hydroquinone: Are the Risks Worth It? Dermatologist Evaluates

The skin care, present in most women's routine, includes many types of creams, acids, ointments, moisturizers, regenerators and antioxidants. The entire female arsenal is meant to deal with any kind of problem that could threaten the immaculate skin tissue, leaving it smooth and preferably completely uniform. Hydroquinone is one of those products that promise great dermatological miracles.

Used to lighten blemishes, hydroquinone is the subject of heated debate between its advocates and its inquisitors. Dermatologist Helena Zantut states that so much discussion is due to the fact that the product needs to be used properly, otherwise it can cause a number of side effects.

What is hydroquinone?

Helena explains that hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound "used to lighten dark spots on the skin". Sold under various names, the product acts as a depigmenting substance, helping to inhibit melanin production by cells and blocking its accumulation. This function is what gives the diminishing effect of dark spots, acne marks and even freckles.


What are the side effects of misuse of hydroquinone?

First, hydroquinone can cause the skin to be hypersensitive to sunlight, which means it will be more likely to develop new blemishes. This can cause treatment for one area to end up harming others.

Some patients report a reddening of the skin while using the medicine, as well as itching and dryness. Helena says that these problems can only be avoided through the correct use of the product, always with the guidance of a dermatology professional. Hydroquinone must be well used. It is necessary to start with a very light concentration and gradually increase this concentration, ”he explains,“ in summer, it is not recommended to use the product if the patient decides to go to the beach, for example ”.

Due to these complications and their possible (not yet proven) carcinogenic action, the US FDA regulator proposed banning the sale of hydroquinone in drugstores.


How to avoid the side effects of hydroquinone?

Medical follow-up is expressly indicated for any type of health treatment, even topical treatment such as hydroquinone. Consulting a professional and giving them all the necessary information about their medical history before starting a new treatment reduces the chances of experiencing allergy and irritation problems, for example.

Helena also stresses the importance of following treatment according to what is designated by the dermatologist. In the case of hydroquinone, "it is ideal to use at night, always accompanied by a sunscreen in the morning, and never use the product without a prescription".

This kind of care allows your body to get the best out of the treatment and not suffer from unexpected reactions, which can be painful, leave permanent marks on your skin and even bring more serious damage to health.

How much does it cost and where to buy hydroquinone?

The price of the product varies as it is sold by various laboratories in varying concentrations and under different names. Hydroquinone can also be manipulated. The price range is between $ 20 and $ 30, according to research conducted in some pharmacies. The lowest price we found for hydroquinone was at Drogaria Onofre, for R $ 18.89.

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