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Hydroquinone Depigmentation Cream


Whiten unwanted pigmentation with hydroquinone in Singapore.

What Is Hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone (hi-dro-kwi-non) is a skin-whitening agent that is also present in plants and animals. It is used topically to lighten areas of darkened skin or hyperpigmentation.

Hydroquinone (up to 4 percent concentration) can only be prescribed by a licensed doctor as a cream, emulsion, gel, or solution. It is available as a topical on its own, or as an added ingredient in other regulated prescribed products.

To know if hydroquinone is suitable for you, schedule a consultation with us.

How Does Hydroquinone Work?

Hydroquinone works by inhibiting melanocytes in the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, which is the pigment that produces your skin tone.

When you have darkened areas of skin or hyperpigmentation (i.e. melasma, liver spots also known as sun spots or solar lentigines, freckles, café-au-lait spots), these areas have more melanin due to an increase in melanocyte activity.

Hence, by limiting melanocyte activity in the treated area, hydroquinone allows your skin to become more even-toned over time.

How Soon Will I See Results With Hydroquinone?

On average, it takes about 4 weeks for the skin lightening to take effect. Depending on the type and severity of hyperpigmentation, skin tone of the patient, as well as sun exposure post-treatment, it may take several months of consistent use before you can see full results.

Some patients may prefer alternative treatments like anti-pigmentation laser, Ethosome Gold PTT and RF Gold Microneedling (Sylfirm X, Morpheus 8, Secret RF). 

What Skin Conditions Can Hydroquinone Treat?

Hydroquinone can be used to treat skin concerns related to hyperpigmentation, including but not limited to:

  • Melasma, a common skin condition that is characterised by brownish patches on the face, typically on the cheeks, forehead, chin and upper lips
  • Solar lentigines or sun spots or age spots, which appear on the skin as a result of long term sun exposure Other than the face, such spots may also be found on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms and shoulders.
  • Freckles, which are small, flat and red to brownish spots often found on the skin that is exposed to sun They are usually result from the overproduction of melanin and can be attributed to Ultraviolet (UV) or genetics.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) refer to dark skin patches after an injury or skin inflammation such as acne, eczema or a cut. While it may affect everyone, those with darker skin tones tend to be more susceptible.  
  • Becker’s Nevus, a large, non-cancerous birthmark found commonly in males. 


Contact Us


Yes, when prescribed by a licensed doctor. Historically, there have been a number of safety concerns about hydroquinone. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed that hydroquinone only be prescribed by a doctor at a maximum of 4 percent concentration.

Some side effects such as dryness and irritation are not unusual, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. We recommend applying a moisturiser after. These side effects may also taper off as your skin adjusts to the ingredient.

If any of the following effects persist or become severe, consult your doctor:

  • Itching
  • Dryness
  • Mild burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Stinging sensation

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

  • Acne breakouts
  • Blistering
  • Crusting
  • Ochronosis (unusual blue-black or grey-blue skin discolourations)
  • Oozing of pus
  • Scaling and peeling
  • Severe burning
  • Severe dryness
  • Severe irritation or itching
  • Stretch marks form
  • Swelling
  • Telangiectasia (red lines/blood vessels showing through skin)

A very serious allergic reaction to hydroquinone is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Generally, we recommend applying hydroquinone to the affected area 1 to 2 times a day for 3 to 6 months. If improvements are not seen after 2 to 3 months of consistent use, discontinue use.

At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we prefer using hydroquinone as a concentrated treatment to address an immediate hyperpigmentation concern. We do not offer it as a means to maintain results for the long term.

Hydroquinone is a viable treatment of choice for those suffering from pigmentary problems such as melasma, sun spots, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and more.

  • Patients with unrealistic expectations, such as those who seek complete eradication of unwanted pigmentation
  • Prior ionising radiation to the area to be treated
  • Recent deep chemical peels or dermabrasion
  • Dark complexions
  • Allergy or hypersensitivity to hydroquinone
  • Pregnant women, those planning for pregnancy or are breastfeeding
  • Patients whose daily activities involve prolonged sun exposure
  • When taken with other medications that cause photosensitivity

Pre-treatment instructions: ensure that you’re in a good state of health. Always disclose your full medical history during consultation (e.g., asthma).

Women should also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning for pregnancy, or are breast-feeding.

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

Post-treatment instructions: apply a moisturiser after treatment. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Always use sunscreen. And wear protective clothing over treated areas, if possible.

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