Hydroquinone formula

Hydroquinone formula is a topical medication that is used to lighten dark patches of skin like freckles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, etc. Hydroquinone works by blocking the production of melanin, the main pigment in the skin. Its effects are reversible.


  • Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Sunscreen use is an essential part of hydroquinone therapy. Even minimal sunlight promotes pigment production.
  • Be sure to apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every morning and wear wide-brimmed hats when outdoors. Avoid direct sun exposure, tanning beds, and sun lamps.


  • After washing your face, apply a thin layer to areas of darkened skin once daily.
  • Typically it is best to apply hydroquinone after any other topical treatment.
  • Test for skin sensitivity by applying the medication every other once a day for the first week. If no irritation occurs, you may use the medication every day.
  • If the skin becomes irritated, reduce frequency of use. If the irritation persists or is severe, stop the medication and contact your dermatology team.


  • The most commonly reported side effects include redness, dryness, stinging, and irritation at the application site. Skin irritation usually goes away during the course of the treatment.
  • Hydroquinone may produce exogenous ochronosis, a blue-black discoloration of the skin. The risk of ochronosis increases with prolonged use of hydroquinone and continued sun exposure. To avoid this, periodic breaks from hydroquinone are needed. Make sure to always follow your provider’s instructions on use.
  • A localized allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) can occur. Stop the medication if you develop severe redness or itching, blisters, or a severe rash.


  • Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
  • Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture.