Warning about “bleaching” creams for melasma, pigment after acne, and other pigment problems.

I  really wanted to emphasize this to all of you because I’m hearing problems with “bleaching” creams so frequently.  Most of the skin bleaching creams that are sold in drugstores, online, and through doctor’s offices by prescription, contain hydroquinone in a 2-4% concentration. 4% is prescription only in the United States, but hydroquinone is readily available in higher concentration in many other countries. A surprisingly high percentage of people who use these creams get irritated by them and the pigment gets WORSE!

The Key to bleaching creams:

The key is to try bleaching creams cautiously in the beginning, maybe even just one or two areas for 2-4 weeks to test it. If you are under a dermatologist’s care, follow your doctor’s instructions but call the office promptly, if you start seeing problems. The irritation from hydroquinones can range from very subtle (just some slight peeling) to very obvious (red and inflamed).

If you’re dealing with Melasma, check out my resource that reviews causes, treatment options (from products to procedures) and more here.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate. That’s why I write these skin care tips and guides.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
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