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Hydroquinone cream treats skin discoloration, such as age spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by chronic acne. The medication prevents the production of melanin, the skin's pigment, by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which is required for melanin synthesis.

Time Frame

DermNet NZ, the New Zealand Dermatological Society's website, recommends that you apply hydroquinone cream to clean, dry skin twice daily, but to the hyperpigmented area only. Allow the cream to be absorbed by the skin for several minutes. Follow this with the application of a gentle moisturizer.


Avoid moisturizers with benzoyl peroxide or hydrogen peroxide while using a hydroquinone cream, as this combination can stain the skin. If staining occurs, cleanse the area with warm water and a nonabrasive soap.


Hydroquinone cream use can make your skin extra-sensitive to the sun. Therefore, choose a moisturizer that includes a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

About the Author

Claire McAdams

Based in Los Angeles, Claire McAdams has been writing professionally since 2006. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and also online at and She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Belmont University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from King College.