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What are the side effects of hydroquinone cream?

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Quick Answer

The side effects of hydroquinone cream include dryness, mild burning, redness and stinging, explains WebMD. Serious side effects of hydroquinone include blisters, darkening of the skin and skin cracking.

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Full Answer

Hydroquinone is used to lighten skin that has grown dark in patches, states WebMD. These dark spots may be categorized as age spots, liver spots, freckles, melasma or hyperpigmentation. The causes of these spots vary, but often are caused by conditions such as injury or pregnancy, and may be caused by medication for hormones or birth control pills. By using hydroquinone, patients block the body's process of darkening the skin.

In order to minimize the side effects of hydroquinone, it is important that patients follow all directions, according to WebMD. It is best to perform a skin test for 24 hours before using the product on a large area. If the area is itchy, puffy, red or blistering, discontinue the use of this cream and contact the doctor. If mild redness is the only effect following the skin test, the product is fine to use. Since this medication can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, it is recommended that those using it cover themselves when going outdoors and avoid tanning beds and bright sunlight.

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