Eldopaque, Eldoquin, Esoterica Regular, Melanex, Porcelana, Solaquin
Classifications: depigmentor;
Therapeutic: depigmentor

Pregnancy Category: C


1.5%, 2%, 3%, 4% cream, gel, solution


Topical agent that causes reversible bleaching of hyperpigmented skin due to increased melanin. Interferes with formation of new melanin but does not destroy existing pigment. Depresses melanin synthesis and melanocytic growth, possibly by increasing excretion of melanin from melanocytes.

Therapeutic Effect

Interferes with formation of new melanin but does not destroy existing pigment.


Gradual bleaching of hyperpigmented skin conditions such as chloasma or melasma, severe freckling, senile lentigines (age spots or liver spots). Also as an antioxidant in topical preparations. Some formulations include a sunscreening agent (e.g., Porcelana with Sunscreen, Mercolized Cocrema, Pabaquinone, and Solaquin).


Hyersensitivity to hydroquinone, PABA, paraben, or sulfite; prickly heat, sunburn, irritated skin, depilatory usage; pregnancy (category C), lactation.

Cautious Use

Safe use in children <12 y not established.

Route & Dosage

Bleaching of Hyperpigmented Skin
Adult: Topical Apply thin layer and rub into hyperpigmented skin b.i.d., a.m. and p.m.


  • Test skin for sensitivity before treatment is initiated. Apply small amount of drug (about 25 mm in diameter) to an unbroken patch of skin and check in 24 h. Do not use drug if vesicle formation, itching, or excessive inflammation occur. Minor redness is not a contraindication.
  • Limit applications to an area no larger than that of face and neck.

Adverse Effects (≥1%)

Skin: Dryness and fissuring of paranasal and infraorbital areas, inflammatory reaction, erythema; stinging, tingling, burning sensations; irritation, sensitization, and contact dermatitis.


Drug: No clinically significant interactions established.

Nursing Implications

Assessment & Drug Effects

  • Monitor for therapeutic effectiveness: In general, complete depigmentation occurs in 1–4 mo and lasts 2–6 mo after hydroquinone is discontinued. Once desired results are obtained, reduce amount and frequency of applications to the least that will maintain depigmentation.
  • Discontinue if bleaching or skin lightening does not occur after 2 or 3 mo of therapy.

Patient & Family Education

  • Use a sunscreen agent or a hydroquinone formulation containing a sunscreen for daytime applications.
  • Wash drug off if rash or irritation develops and consult physician.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes and not to use on open lesions, sunburned, irritated, or otherwise damaged skin.
  • Continue use of protective clothing and sunscreening agent after treatment is terminated to reduce possibility of repigmentation.

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug

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