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Patient Guide



About your medicine

Your doctor has prescribed the following medicine for you:

  • Hydroquinone
  • Hydro​​quin​one with additives:





What is this medicine used for?

Hydroquinone is a skin-bleaching agent that is used to lighten areas of darkened skin. Hydroquinone decreases the formation of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in skin that gives it a brown color.

This medicine has been prescribed for your present skin condition only and should not be given to other people or used for other problems.

How should I use this medicine?

Wash the skin with cleanser, then rinse and pat dry.

Apply enough medicine to cover the affected areas, and rub in gently to ensure good absorption.

Apply the medicine once or twice daily, as instructed by your doctor.

You may use a moisturizer to help avoid skin dryness. When using moisturizers, sunscreens, cosmetics and other topical preparations together with the hydroquinone cream, apply them in the sequence as instructed by your doctor. Wait approximately 3 – 4 minutes before applying the next product.

Do not use the medicine on skin that is sunburned, chapped, or irritated, or on an open wound. It could make these conditions worse. Wait until these conditions have healed before applying the medicine.

Do not use the medicine in or around the eyes, lips or mouth. This medicine may irritate these sensitive areas.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Skip the missed dose. Do not apply more of it to make up for the missed dose as it could result in severe irritation.

What possible side effects may it cause?

Certain side effects of this medicine are not unusual and may even disappear during treatment. If any of the following effects on the sites of application persist or are severe, consult your doctor:

  • itching
  • dryness
  • peeling
  • mild burning
  • redness
  • stinging

Stop using the medicine and consult your doctor if the following occurs:

  • acne
  • blistering
  • crusting
  • oozing
  • scaling
  • severe burning
  • severe dryness
  • severe irritation or itching
  • stretch marks
  • swelling
  • tiny red lines or blood vessels showing through the skin (telangiectasia)
  • unusual skin discoloration

Prolonged use of hydroquinone has been associated with the development of exogenous ochronosis (a persistent blue-black pigmentation). Therefore, please use as instructed by your doctor and stop after you have achieved the desired lightening effect.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

The medication may contain sodium bisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your doctor if you have asthma, other skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis) or, any unusual or allergic reactions to any topical preparations.

For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding

This medication may make the treated areas of skin more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, sunlamps or ultraviolet light. Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or greater and wear protective covering (e.g. hats, clothing) over the treated areas.

How do I store this medicine?

  • Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children.

When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
National Skin Centre (Singapore)
1 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308205
Tel: 63508454


Last updated on 05 May 2020

Last updated on 05 May 2020