Another extremely difficult-to-treat cause of skin discoloration is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, drug-induced, or some other trauma to the skin. Prescription-level (3 to 5%) topical hydroquinone twice daily may offer some lightening effect, but one study suggested that implementing a regimen of glycolic acid peels, twice daily application of a hydroquinone-glycolic acid topical combination and a retinoid like tretinoin before sleeping produced results faster.1

  1. Plensdorf, Scott and Martinez, Joy. American Family Physician Volume 79, Issue 2: Common Pigmentation Disorders. MD Consult: American Academy of Family Physicians. [Online] January 2009.
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