Hydroquinone 4% is an effective prescription strength agent for helping to lighten hyperpigmentation and is particularly effective when used in conjunction with glycolic acid. Dr. Rasmussen has not been pleased with many HQ products for a variety of reasons: many are brown tinged (or turn brown once the container is opened), many “smell” funny or have an unpleasant odor, and most of all, most don’t do what they are supposed to do, i.e., to lighten areas of hyperpigmentation. However, she has found a prescription product, Hydro-Q Gel®, which is very effective, odorless, and the gel form doesn’t turn brown (unless it is opened but not all used within 3 months).
As a “bleaching agent”, Hydro-Q Gel® will take a minimum of four weeks to be effective, and Dr. Rasmussen recommends use of the product for a full two months to determine one’s results. Application of a good sunblock is imperative while using any bleaching agent.