This Rx product works more quickly and effectively than anything else; However, it left some of my drier treated areas with very fine, vertical lines (almost like mini facial stretch marks.) I discontinued the use and most of my post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation returned to near pretreatment levels (primarily the ones from Dr's liquid nitrogen treatment of sebaceous hyperplasia and age spots- cystic acne scars were more amenable). Following several years of Rx retinoid treatment (Atralin and Differin) and boatloads of antioxidants chemical peels, the strange vertical lines are mostly gone. For those afflicted with SA, I have found that electrocautery, while initially more painful, heals with fewer pigmentation problems if I keep the scabs covered with Bacitracin (No Neosporin!) followed by Aquaphor. This regimen does not seem to work for my cystic acne scars. It's sad to fight SA and acne, esp when my insurance co won't pay for my retinoids for my acne because I am in my 50s and could be using them as anti aging treatments.
Some types of skin are prone to melasma (dark patches) due to hormones. In my case I have been on the pill for 10 years due to a high testosterone level than normal. I have melasma on all of my forehead and in the summer I will get it on my cheeks if I am not anal with the sunscreen (tan makes it much worse). My old dermatologist put me on 4% hq for about a year and it almost went away. After a while it came back. I went back to the docs but there was a new dr at the clinic, which is the best clinic in my area. The new doc put me on combinations of kojic acid/trentinoin/stevia/retin A which I have been on for over a year with no results at all execpt for very smooth skin. Now my doc has just put me back on 4% hq, but only for 1 bottle. She expalined to me that if you use this product for more than 6 months it can make your skin turn dark permamently. I have heard that it can cause skin cancer but my derm thinks otherwise.
Bottom line: Yes, this product works wonders for discolorations, but it is not safe to use long term. It is a quick fix and good for jump starting the lightening process which can be maintained using other products.
I'm 49 years old and all of the sudden age seemed to catch up with my complexion in one swoop! I had dark patches which made parts of my skin not effected look like white circles... Not a pretty site!!! So my derm prescibed a combo of Rx meds to get rid of the dark patches and make everything smooth and even again.
I was given a 6% Salicylic gel which I used once a day. It immediatly began to flake away the outer layers and I noticed a huge difference! I also had an Rx for Atralin ( a type of topical "A" gel ) which I also used liberally to exfoliate the skin. Once I began to notice some of the major dark patches sloughing off, I started using my hydoquinine 4% at night. Sometimes in the past I have started a regime... seen results and then stopped! Not this time! The difference in my skin in the last 8 weeks is amazing!!!
Before I began this, makeup looked awful as I tried to coverup the uneven skin tone. Trust me ladies, this is so worth the time and the money. My insurance covered the the two topical gels and the hydroquinone was a little under $50. So well worth the price!
I just started using the product yesterday and I regret waiting so long before going to the dermatologist; however, I did go so here we are. I was prescribed Hydroquinone 4%. Kind of pricy at $42.00 because insurance will not pay for what they consider cosmetic medicine. The doctor said I should see some type of results as the days progress. I'm seeing old friends on the 14th so I pray that the spot is almost gone by then. The spot is a small dark mark on the bottom outside of my mouth. I'll check back after a few weeks to give an update. Oh the packaging was okay and I'm keeping it in the box so as not to let too much light in.
Where is the *Love button for this product? Let me just tell you that I am 34 and 2/3's he he. I have had oily, acne prone skin all my life and occassionaly I suffer from those dark spots (hyperpigmentation) that is associated with acne scarring. This product works and I only paid $32.00 at walmart- I had to get a Rx but I heard that you can order it from canada???. Ok, it smells funny, but a 1oz tube last you for about a year and it actually works. I apply it nightly and spot treat in the morning..you have to wear sun protection to offset re-darkining. This is the best product by far for African American skin, so do your self a favor go see a derm. and get some! You won't regret it!
Hydroquinone is the most effective topical I've ever used in terms of lightening scars and sun spots, it really can fade them almost completely. Unfortunately it is the type of drug you have to keep using in order to sustain results.
i'm surprised there arent more reviews for this! like the reviewer below me, i purchased this from alldaychemist.com for about $3 a tube. i know that inhousepharmacy.biz sells a 4% HQ product for around $40, but i'm not sure how much their shipping is since i've never ordered from them.
i'm not a fan of the packagivng on this. i keep mine in my medicine cabinet and it's taking me a while to use the tube up, since i got 2 tubes. after a bit this started leaking out of the top, so now i have to keep some tp under it so it doesnt get all over the place. with the 1st tube i guess it got squished while it was closed b/c the product came out the top of the cap! so not the best packaging, to say the least. when HQ is exposed to air for a period of time it turns brown, so every time i go to use this theres brown crud on the cap. *sigh* a bit of a pain.
as for actual effectiveness, also lik ethe other reviewer, i've been using paula's choice 2% bha w/ 2% HQ for a while now. i was using that twice daily for a few months and saw great results, but still have some sun spots and acne red spots that i wanted to lighten and figured i'd give the 4% a try since i was going to order careprost from ADC too.
i use this not as often as i should, maybe 3 times a week at most, but i'm going to start using it daily, every night. with this i have to make sure i REALLY wash my face well the next morning after application, and i HAVE to use a BHA to clear out my pres, or else this gives me some blackheads. no actual breakouts, just more blackheads than normal. it DOES work to lighten spots much faster than the 2% though, so i'm happy about that! i've been toying with the idea of ordering some HQ from gardenofwisdom so i can make mu own stronger mix. i know that dermatologists can prescribe 6%, but unfortunately alldaychemist doesnt sell that strength :( if i do try it, i'll come back here and give an update. at this point i'm not even sure how i'd mix it up, or with what.... if anyone reads this and knows, give me a shout!
i stopped using this a bit ago and have been trying som eother stuff. Just as an FYI, GOW no longer sells the HQ powder (ugh!). i did stumble upon nadinola extra strength, which has 3% HQ and is only around $5 at walmart! and it's not too bad, although i still have to use the BHA a LOT to keep my skin clear. i stopped using this 4% for a few reasons-- the smell isnt that great, it's kind of thick, and it seems to take a while to sink in. i may still go back to using it in the future though.
I didn't see any reviews for prescription strength Hydroquinone (4%) so I guess I'll start. I've been using this for several months, I use it several times a week on my whole face and twice daily on any hyper-pigmentation marks on my face. I also use PC's 2% hydroquinone gel with BHA a couple times a week for additional exfoliation. So all told I use hydroquinone 4-5 times a week on my whole face right now. It works really well at fading marks caused by acne and uneven skin tone. I use retin-a as well and don't experience any additional sensitivity using hydroquinone in conjunction w/it. I purchase mine from alldaychemist for about 3$ a tube (plus shipping but I usually place only a two or three big orders a year).
On a side note, I've done the research and am thoroughly convinced that hydroquinone is safe to use topically at 4%. In fact, there's some research out there that suggests it's a powerful antioxidant and may have more beneficial effects than just lightening.