Also referred to as quinol or benzene -1,4-diol, hydroquinone is a type of phenol, as well as an aromatic organic compound, that has been used in some skin whitening and bleaching creams intended to treat:
- acne scars
- age spots
- chloasma, also referred to as melasma (darkening of certain areas of the skin due to the hormone fluctuations typically associated with pregnancy or taking oral/patch contraceptives. Chloasma usually affects the areas of skin on the face, such as the forehead, upper cheek, nose, upper lip area and/or the lips.)
Generally, prescribed hydroquinone creams contain about 2 percent of the active ingredient. In some cases, hydroquinone products may contain as much as 4 percent of the active ingredient, however this only occurs in the most extreme cases of unsightly skin discoloration.
FDA Warnings Regarding Hydroquinone Bleaching Cream Side Effects
In August 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was going to void its previous approval of hydroquinone while also proposing banning all OTC hydroquinone creams. The regulatory agency further stated that hydroquinone had been found to cause a range of different malignancies in studies on rats and, consequently, that hydroquinone should be studied further (as it cannot definitively classified as “non-carcinogenic”).
Along with causing leukemia and blood-related cancers, some of the other types of tumors hydroquinone has been reported to cause in laboratory animals include those affecting the kidneys, liver and thyroid. Some of the serious side effects hydroquinone patients have reported include severe allergic reaction and/or severe burning or itching of the skin.
It’s crucial that patients are aware of the dangers of hydroquinone and that they seek emergency medical care, should they start to develop the symptoms of these side effects.
Talk to a Lawyer about Your Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured (or suspect you have been injured) as a result of using any type of hydroquinone cream, contact an experienced defective drug attorney today to learn more about your legal rights and entitlements. You may be eligible for a sizeable settlement that can compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.