Hydroquinone For Age Spots: Good Or Bad?
I am quite sure that if you are or had been suffering from age spots or other problems involving the skin, you most undeniably have crossed paths with the term hydroquinone. But if not, this is certainly the first time you will hear of this term. Hydroquinone, a chemical compound, has been very helpful in the discipline of medicine, particularly in dermatology, and in other several industries as well. Thanks to its general skin bleaching properties, it has been credited as a considerable skin whitening method along with a few other chemicals. It is particularly effective in helping individuals be free from the appearance of age spots, unwanted dark skin lesions and patchy skin color.
Hydroquinone is found in topical creams alone or combined with other chemical compounds. You can select from topical creams that have two percent, four percent or even greater percentage of hydroquinone content. Hydroquinone two percent is available as an over-the-counter drug in some countries. On the other hand, topical creams with strengths of four percent or greater, are at one’s disposal only if you have been prescribed by a doctor. And other doctors themselves sell these topical applications that have higher concentrations of hydroquinone.
The reason why hydroquinone is used in dermatology is chiefly because of its capacity to reduce the generation of the pigment naturally-occuring in the skin, melanin – giving our skin its color. Tyrosinase is the enzyme that generates melanin and hydroquinone obstructs it from doing so. You start to see its effectiveness after applying the hydroquinone for one month. Therefore, doctors recommend this treatment mode for its effectiveness and considerably harmless property.
Though it may be really effective, some are still worried about its possible ill effects to the users’ health. Because hydroquinone works by decreasing the production of melanin, individuals using this are therefore more exposed to the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet rays – both UVA and UVB. Therefore, people who use hydroquinone have higher risks of developing skin cancer than those who do not. Since the liver and the kidneys work twenty-four hours to metabolize and excrete the drugs we put into our bodies, damage to these organs is one adverse effect of hydroquinone and almost other drugs as well. Hydroquinone can also start an allergic reaction making the person breathe strenuously and making the face and the parts of the digestive system swell. If you confuse age spots or types of hyperpigmentation with sunburn or if you accidentally apply hydroquinone onto skin injuries, the condition of the sunburn or the skin injury will be aggravated. Other bad effects that come with the use of hydroquinone are the permanent change of the skin’s color, usually bluish to black and the appearance of skin vesicles and irritated, itching and reddish skin.
In the United States, in the year 2006, the availability of hydroquinone as an over-the-counter drug was prohibited. The rationale: the increased occurrence of cancers in rats that are administered with hydroquinone. Even though it is not yet ascertained that hydroquinone can cause cancer in human beings, some still presume otherwise. However, hydroquinone two percent or four percent persists to be sold both in drugstores and cosmetic stores, without prescription, in countries that do not have tight government regulations. Untill more studies are done to prove or disprove hydroquinone’s cancer-causing property, extreme care should be observed in its use.