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Hydroquinone + Tretinoin + Hydrocortisone

Hydroquinone + Tretinoin + Hydrocortisone


Hydroquinone, tretinoin (retinoic acid), kojic acid, and hydrocortisone can be used together in a topical preparation to lighten the appearance of melasma. Melasma is a condition characterized by a darkening of the skin on the face caused by a change in hormones, such as pregnancy or beginning oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy. With proper avoidance of sun exposure, the use of hydroquinone-tretinoin-kojic acid-hydrocortisone topical cream can resolve the treated melasma spots. This drug combination is not intended for long-term treatment of melasma and does not permanently cure skin melasma. Once this treatment is discontinued, repigmentation will occur in the affected areas, although patients can continue to be managed with other treatments.


A Ret-HC (Hydroquinone/Tretinoin/Hydrocortisone Acetate) is a triple combination skin lightening cream used to treat hyperpigmentation on the skin. Its mechanism of action is reducing the amount of pigments such as melanin. This helps to lighten unwanted areas of darkened skin, including melasma (due to sun damage), chloasma, freckles, age spots and senile lentigines. Hydroquinone is a compound widely used in cosmetics for its ability to decrease the skin color, leading to whitening. By affecting the synthesis of the pigment melanin, it can gradually bleach the skin, thereby treating unwanted dark spots.

Dosage and Administration

A Ret-HC (Hydroquinone/Tretinoin/Hydrocortisone Acetate) cream is intended for application directly to the area of skin that is affected by hyperpigmentation. It is possible that your physician will instruct you to apply the cream once every day, at night. The duration of treatment may vary depending on your symptoms, and in all cases, the physician providing treatment will decide how long you need to continue treatment for. Regular assessment of your progress may be necessary, and your physician may schedule medical appointments in order to ensure that the cream is having its desired effects. 

Side effects 

Treatment of hyperpigmentation with A Ret-HC (Hydroquinone/Tretinoin/Hydrocortisone Acetate) cream may trigger some side effects. Tell your physician if this happens. Some examples include:

  • Redness
  • Irritated skin
  • Burning feeling
  • Dryness on the skin
  • Slight stinging sensation

If you suffer from contact dermatitis, severe irritation or any other serious adverse events not referenced here, make sure that you consult your physician immediately. 

Melasma Cream Ingredients

Several effective ingredients are included in this cream for treating melasma. Hydroquinone and kojic acid are lightening agents that reduce hyperpigmentation. Tretinoin clears the skin of blemishes and discolorations by increasing cell turnover. Hydrocortisone is included as an anti-inflammatory that soothes the skin to prevent irritation while the other ingredients work. When these ingredients are used together they provide a greater improvement in melasma than when used alone.