About Hydroquinone

Prescription Strength 4% Hydroquinone

Prescription strength 4% hydroquinone products have a 40-plus-year history of safe and effective use. Millions of these products have been prescribed to patients suffering from skin conditions such as skin damage due to sun exposure, hyperpigmentation, soft tissue deficits and brown spots.

  • Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching ingredient used to lighten areas of darkened skin.
  • Hydroquinone 4% is one of many drugs currently marketed as prescription drugs because it is generally recognized as safe and effective by physician experts that treat a variety of skin conditions.
  • Hydroquinone has long been regarded by dermatologists as the gold standard in the treatment of certain pigmentary disorders of the skin.
  • Hydroquinone is an effective treatment that provides improvements in both appearance and quality of life.
  • In over 40 years, no cases of cancer in humans have been reported with the clinical use of hydroquinone.
  • Products that include Hydroquinone 4% require education by a physician and proper use to minimize any risk from excess sun exposure to sensitive skin so this product is only available as a prescription.

Safety Data Supporting 4% Hydroquinone

It is well documented that 4% hydroquinone is a safe and effective treatment when used under a physician’s care:

  • Hydroquinone is a ubiquitous chemical to which most human beings are exposed in their daily lives.  Hydroquinone and arbutin (hydrolyzed to hydroquinone by acidic milieu of the stomach) are found in many common foods such as cranberries, blueberries, pears, beans, all-wheat breads and cereals, tea, coffee, red wine, beer, broccoli and onions.  Background levels of hydroquinone are found in the blood and urine of all individuals, even those on low-hydroquinone diets.
  • A comprehensive scientific literature review discussing the safety of hydroquinone can be reviewed in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. The abstract states: “Hydroquinone is one of the most effective molecules for the treatment of hyperpigmentary disorders with over 40 years of efficacy and safety data . . . despite 40-50 years of use of hydroquinone for medical conditions, there has not been a single documented case of either a cutaneous or internal malignancy associated with this drug.”
  • Howard I. Maibach, M.D., professor of dermatology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco and expert in the field summarizes the safety profile of hydroquinone as follows: “Overall, adverse events reported with the use of hydroquinone…have been relative few and minor in nature… hydroquinone is undoubtedly the most active and safest skin-depigmenting substance.”