Can bleaching creams like hydroquinones be used to spot treat or used all over?

doctor, i used 2%hydroquinone in combination tretinoin ,mometasone furoate to fade my acne marks on my cheeks,thus my cheeks got into lighter and whiter complexion than the rest of my face.its troubling me a lot,, plz help me.. :( :(

You bring up an important point.   Lightening creams, especially hydroquinones, actually do lighten at least temporarily!  They can create uneven pigment because spots lighten at different rates and it’s hard to keep the cream exactly on the brown spot.

In general, if you have just a few brown spots from acne, picking, or other skin problems, you can spot treat for 2 weeks or so and not create problems.

If you have a lot of brown spots, or larger areas  more consistent with melasma, then it works better to use a thin layer over the entire face.   Please don’t use longer than 3-4 months without a doctors’ or dermatologists’ care. 

Here are links to 2 new lightening creams –  Advanced Pigment Corrector and Lytera – both are hydroquinone free and contain plant based lighteners.  Also, more on hydroquinones here.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!