Hydroquinone cream prevents an enzyme reaction in skin cells, and it is used to bleach the skin, according to Drugs.com. People apply hydroquinone to lighten freckles, age spots and other skin discolorations. A doctor may recommend hydroquinone if the skin's color has been altered by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy or other health conditions.
Hydroquinone cream may cause redness or mild burning around the area where it was applied. If hydroquinone is used near the eyes or nose, the skin may crack or become dry. If these side effects continue for an extended period of time or become bothersome, it may be beneficial to speak to a health care professional. Some people who use hydroquinone may only experience minor side effects or none at all.
It is important to seek immediate medical assistance if an allergic reaction to hydroquinone occurs. Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to hydroquinone include excessive redness, hives or a rash.
Other symptoms of an allergic reaction to hydroquinone include tightness in the chest, breathing problems and swelling of the tongue, lips, mouth or face. An allergic reaction to hydroquinone may cause the skin to darken to a blue-black color, and it may also cause stinging or irritation.