medication information

Hydroquinone + Tretinoin + Fluocinolone Formula

We want to make sure you fully understand your treatment. 
Below outlines the benefits, expectations, and risks with 
Hydroquinone + Tretinoin + Fluocinolone Formula

This cream is a combination of hydroquinone (a melanin synthesis inhibitor), tretinoin (a retinoid) and fluocinolone (a mild corticosteroid). It’s used to improve the appearance of melasma but is not a cure. It should always be used in conjunction with sun avoidance measures, like using sunscreen and protective wide-brimmed hats. Sunscreen use is an essential part of lightening therapy. Even minimal sunlight promotes pigment production.

Hydroquinone is a depigmenting agent that blocks the synthesis of melanin, the skin’s main pigment. Its effects are not permanent. Tretinoin enhances cell turnover and works synergistically with hydroquinone to make it more effective. Fluocinolone reduces inflammation.

This cream is not intended for long-term treatment of melasma. Once improvement is achieved, therapy should be switched to an alternative treatment to maintain improvement.


  • After gently washing your face, apply a thin layer to areas of darkened skin once daily. Rub lightly and uniformly into the skin.
  • Daily sunscreen use is important. A broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+ that includes UVA protection is best. Protective wide-brimmed hats are also helpful.
  • If your skin becomes mildly irritated, reduce frequency of use. If the irritation persists or is severe, stop the medication.

Risks to be aware of:

Possible side effects include redness, dryness, peeling, itching, burning, and irritation at the application side. 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. Always make sure to follow your doctor’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. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. There have been no reported incidences of cancer from topical application of hydroquinone in humans.

The following skin reactions have been observed with topical steroids: folliculitis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, and miliaria. Risks are higher with prolonged use and with higher potency corticosteroids.

If you become pregnant while taking this medication, discontinue use immediately and message your doctor for an alternative. This medication should not be used if you are breastfeeding.


Store in a cool, dry place. Slight darkening of products containing hydroquinone is normal. This does not affect the potency of the product and can be safely used until the expiration date.

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