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July 1961

Hydroquinone Bleaching: Submitted for publication March 6, 1961. This study was approved by the Veterans Administration Hospital, Danville, Ill. From the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(1):131-134. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580130137022


Lightening pigmented blemishes with a bleaching agent has never been very satisfactory. This study was undertaken in an effort to develop a safe and effective bleaching cream. The unpredictability of bleaching coupled with the frequently alarming progression of the bleaching effect of monobenzylether of hydroquinone (MBH), even after applications have been discontinued, is now well established.1,2 Even in much lower concentrations of MBH than is generally recommended, leukomelanoderma has been observed with significant frequency.3 The complete loss of pigmentation in a therapeutically induced leukoderma after the use of MBH is especially traumatic to the patient, as well as being most disconcerting to the physician. The correction of these leukodermatous changes has proven to be particularly stubborn. 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) has been disappointing in its effectiveness as a treatment.4

Methods  This report is based on the results of a 21/2-year study of hydroquinone and 2 of its derivatives

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