Hydroquinone is used to lighten the dark patches of skin (also called hyperpigmentation, melasma, "liver spots," "age spots," freckles) caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone medicine, or injury to the skin.
This medicine works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration.
Follow all directions on the product package, or use it as directed by your doctor. Before using, apply a small amount of this medicine to an area of unbroken skin, and check the area within 24 hours for any serious side effects. If the test area is itching, red, puffy, or blistering, do not use this product and contact your doctor. If there is just mild redness, then treatment with this product may begin.
Apply this medication to the affected areas of skin, usually twice daily or as directed by your doctor. This medication is for use on the skin only. If it is used incorrectly, unwanted skin lightening may occur. Avoid getting this product in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. If you do get this medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water.
This medication may make the treated areas of skin more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing on the treated areas of the skin when outdoors.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 2 months.
Before using hydroquinone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma, other skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Mild burning, stinging, redness, and dryness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Stop using hydroquinone and tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering, skin cracking, blue-black darkening of the skin.
Can I use this for other skin problems?
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another skin problem unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
How long does it take to work?
It requires a few weeks to take effect.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What should I avoid while using hydroquinone topical?
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Lustra can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Some hydroquinone products may contain sunscreen. Check the medicine label or ask your doctor to be sure.
Avoid getting Lustra in your eyes.
Lustra may make your skin more sensitive to weather extremes such as cold and wind. Protect your skin with clothing and use a moisturizing lotion as needed.
Using Lustra together with benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxide products may stain your skin. This staining can usually be removed with soap and water.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.