Friday, May 13, 2016

When skin lightening in darker skin types goes wrong

Ochronosis is a serious side effect of the skin lightening agent hydroquinone ,even in a low percentage  2% cream for darker skin types (FP Types 4-6)

This is a common skin discoloration you will encounter in those with darker skin .Sometimes,the physician may not be aware and instead of stopping hydroquinone products,increase the percentage of hydroquinone making the condition worse.

What was intended to lighten the skin makes it appear darker and worse in some patients.

The patient who is on a skin lightening hydroquinone formulation finds that the skin develops blue-black or slate-gray hyperpigmentation " .

What is the treatment in such cases?

Quality-Switched (QS) 755-nm alexandrite laser in treating hydroquinone-induced exogenous ochronosis.
The patient needs at least 6-7,  2 monthly sessions for full improvement and skin lightening 
The Q switch laser works well for ochronosis but is quite expensive.

To lighten the skin without any harmful effects, one can use  Lumina Gel peel for about a year,weekly applications.It will improve your skin and also lighten it.

Ochronosis also occurs in a disorder called alkaptonuria where there is a deficiency of an enzyme homogentisic dioxygenase ,that blocks the metabolic degradation of homogentinsic acid in the tyrosine pathway.Tyrosine is one of the 22 amino acids used to synthesize protein in your body. As a result, homogentisic acid accumulates in cartilage- ear/sclerae and causes the blue grey color of ochronosis.This is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder evident in the 40s (two copies of the abnormal gene must be present for the disease to manifest). If only one cpy of the mutated gene is present,the person is a carrier.

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