Dark spots: What you need to know

To treat dark spots (hyperpigmentation) we prescribe a compounded topical cream that contains 3 active ingredients: hydroquinone; tretinoin; and hydrocortisone.

Hydroquinone: works as a skin ‘bleaching agent’ to decrease hyperpigmented specific areas of skin.

Tretinoin: works by promoting skin cell turnover which allows for brighter skin cells to surface. Also helps the medicine to work more effectively.

Hydrocortisone (steroid): reduces any irritation or inflammation caused by tretinoin and hydroquinone, which can occur in patients with sensitive skin.

Treatment & Risks

Before you apply the medicine we send you, make sure you read the treatment plan we’ll upload into your Lemonaid account and the leaflet we’ll send you with the medicine. That way you’ll understand the risks of warnings about our dark spot treatment.

The cream we prescribe can cause serious side effects that include:

  • Gradual blue-black darkening of the skin (exogenous ochronosis)
  • Severe skin irritation
  • Severe skin peeling or pain
  • Severe skin dryness

We rely on symptoms and your answers to our health questions and photos to evaluate the cause of your dark spots. Even though we can make the right diagnosis in most cases, it's important that you understand the risks of us making a wrong diagnosis as dark spots can be related to many clinical conditions.

The medicine we prescribe can help with dark spots related to conditions such as PIH (postinflammatory hyperpigmentation), melasma, and solar lentigines (age or liver spots).

It's possible that we may diagnose and treat your dark spots, even though your dark spots may be caused by another condition that the medicine we prescribed won't treat. This can delay diagnosis of your underlying condition.Taking medicines you don't need can also cause harm from the possible side effects of the medicines.

See a doctor or nurse practitioner in person if any of the following apply

  • Under 18
  • Over age 70
  • Pregnant, possibly pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • Skin cancer
  • Vitiligo
  • Don’t have any dark spots, and are looking to lighten your overall skin tone.