Hydroquinone is currently among the most commonly used compounds as skin lightening agent on many products in the U.S. An example of this is anal bleaching creams. Products with this agent are also marked to reduce age spots and blemishes. However, in many other countries like Japan and Europe, this compound is banned due to health conditions directly linked to it. These health conditions should give you some reasons to stay away from it, despite the fact that the compound is FDA approved.

Health conditions that can be caused by hydroquinone


Ochronosis is a long term condition usually caused by exposure to certain chemicals. Whenever this condition occurs, the skin can become sooty darker or even thicker than normal. For lighter skins, the compound can be alternated with other less harmful product, but for darker skins, the compound can cause Ochronosis and even more severe skin damage.


Skin irritation and allergic reaction

One of the major side effects of Hydroquinone is that it causes severe skin irritation to a particular group of people. Although many skin solution product using this claim that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, a majority of individuals who have used the product have experienced one form of reaction or another. Many of them have complained about stinging sensation, mouth swelling and even breathing problems.


Although researcher has not been able to link Hydroquinone with cancer in humans, numerous studies have indicated that it is a possible cause of many skin cancer cases. Researchers have only been able to test the compound with animals, but evidently, it indicates that the compound is not safe.

Cornea damage

There is numerous evidence to show other severe health conditions like the permanent cornea damage. The Journal of European Academy of Dermatologist indicates that this can happen when the product with this agent is directly exposed to the eye.


You cannot be exposed to direct sunlight because this compound works by reducing the amount of melanin in your skin. As a result, the skin becomes lighter, thereby susceptible to sun damage. Many products using this compound advises users to limit their exposure to direct sunlight, but this might be impossible for those living in tropical areas. When you have thin skin, healing from wounds becomes almost impossible, surgery marks do not go away, and there are more immune problems.



The compound is toxic in nature, so when taken orally, it can cause different health issues like a seizure, nausea, ear ringing, liver damage, bruised skin due to inadequate oxygen to your blood and other problems.

These are just but a few of the health conditions that can be caused by Hydroquinone, there are more which might not be severe, but they are worth your consideration if you intend to get a skin lightening solution.