Are Bleaching Creams Safe?

Hyperpigmentation, in which patches of skin become darker than the rest of the skin, is a common concern among my patients, and lightening creams are an important part of the way in which I treat this problem.  Most of the time, when dermatologists speak of "bleaching creams" they are referring to those products that contain hydroquinone, a naturally-occurring chemical that decreases the skin's production of pigment (melanin), and has long-been considered the "gold standard" in skin lightening.  Recently, questions have been raised over whether or not hydroquinone is safe, and I think a discussion of the risks and benefits of creams that contain this ingredient is in important.  

Read More