Pigmentation problems can cause real difficulties for those who have them, they can make a significant difference to an individual’s appearance and can be very hard to conceal. In the past, skin lightening creams were often used to treat uneven skin tone or areas of hyper pigmented skin, but it is essential to check the ingredients of such preparations very carefully.

Until it was banned, hydroquinone was a popular ingredient in cosmetics aimed at those who wanted to lighten their skin. That is, until it was discovered that the product is downright dangerous and can cause irreversible damage to the skin.

It worked by causing the skin to produce less melanin, thereby producing a lightening effect. Unfortunately, this then removed protective melanin from the skin that is designed to protect against damage that can cause skin cancer. Add this to the fact that the ingredient is carcinogenic itself, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Hydroquinone has also been linked to other types of skin damage including thinning and irritation. While it has been banned from use in cosmetics in the UK and the EU, it can still be used in the US in relatively low quantities. The worry is that some people may still be trying to access such products via the internet in an attempt to find a treatment that works.