Hydroquinone skin cream, gel, emulsion, lotion, or solution
What is this medication?
HYDROQUINONE (hahy droh kwi NOHN) is applied to the the skin to lighten areas that have darkened. Some products also contain sunscreens.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Aclaro, Aclaro PD, Alera, Alphaquin HP, Alustra, Claripel, Complex B, Dermarest Skin Correcting Cream Plus, Eldopaque Forte, Eldoquin Forte, EpiQuin Micro, Esoterica, Glyquin, Glyquin XM, Lustra, Lustra-AF, Lustra-Ultra, Melanex, Melpaque HP, Melquin HP, Melquin-3, Nava-SC, Nuquin HP, Skin Bleaching, Solaquin Forte
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- an unusual or allergic reaction to hydroquinone, sunscreens, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after applying. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Apply just enough to cover the affected area. Rub in gently but completely. Do not apply near the eyes, mouth, or other areas of sensitive skin. If accidental contact occurs, large amounts of water should be used to wash the affected area. If the eyes are involved and eye irritation persists after thoroughly washing, contact your doctor. If you are using other skin medicines, apply them at different times of the day. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- benzoyl peroxide
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Contact your doctor or health care professional if your condition does not improve in the first two months or if you experience too much skin irritation.
This medicine will work best if you avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and wear sunscreens and protective clothing. Some hydroquinone products contain sunscreens. Use a sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher). Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths. Do not apply to sunburned areas or if you have a skin wound in the area of application.
Most cosmetics, sunscreens, and moisturizing lotions may be worn over this medicine. Wait several minutes after application of this medicine before applying them.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas
- unusual skin discoloration
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- mild itching or stinging
- reddening of the skin
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy