Hydroquinone is a topical lightening product found in OTC products, and is used to correct skin discoloration associated with disorders of hyperpigmentation including melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmention, sunspots, and freckles. It can be used alone, but is more frequently found in combination with other agents such as alpha-hydroxy acids, corticosteroids, retinoids, or sunscreen. Hydroquinone has come under scrutiny due to several complications associated with its use, including dermal irritation, exogenous onchronosis, and carginogenicity. As a result of these concerns, hydroquinone has been banned in the EU and UK.
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