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Dermatology Online Journal

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Exogenous ochronosis: the failure of depigmenting creams


Exogenous ochronosis (EO) is an entity that manifests as black-bluish or grayish-brown cutaneous hyperpigmentation, which is a consequence of the deposition of ochronotic pigment with characteristic banana-like morphology between the collagen fibers of the dermis. Both the clinical presentation and histopathology appearance are superimposable with endogenous ochronosis or alcaptonuria, a hereditary disease in which ochronotic pigment deposition occurs at a multisystemic level. The most frequent cause of EO is the use of facial depigmenting creams containing hydroquinone, a common practice among women with high phototypes. We present a woman who developed EO on the face, upper chest, and back after prolonged use of a depigmenting cream containing hydroquinone.

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