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skin bleaching

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  • skin bleaching

    I am a lactation educator in a pediatric office. I was asked yesterday by a mother if it is safe to use skin bleaching products while breastfeeding. She has a 5 week old infant. My understanding is that topical products are generally poorly absorbed and are usually safe, but I am not at all familiar with skin bleaching products and their ingredients. Are they safe to use while breastfeeding?

  • #2
    skin bleaching

    Dear Kate,
    You are right in thinking that topical products are generally poorly absorbed and probably safe. However, if you could find out the name of the product this mom is using I can tell you with more certainty since I can look up the active ingredients.
    Maria Milla, MD
    InfantRisk Center


    • #3
      When I spoke with her this afternoon she said she is using a bleach powder called Kaleidoscope Blue which she mixes with 30v Peroxide. She leaves it on for 10 to 20 min then washes it off. After speaking with her, I checked at the beauty supply store and found that this is a product for hair bleaching, so it may be that she is using it to bleach her body hair and not her skin. In any case, this is what she has used in the past. Any information you can give on this product will be appreciated!


      • #4
        what about hydroquinone? specifically in concentrations of 2% and 4% that is used in a specific type of anti aging skin care products. safe or not safe for a breastfeeding mother?


        • #5

          Hydroquinone is used for depigmentation of skin due to conditions such as freckles, melasma, senile lentigo, and inactive chloasma.[1] Hydroquinone is rapidly and extensively absorbed from the gut of animals. Absorption via the skin is slower but may be more rapid with vehicles such as alcohols. The transcutaneous absorption is reported to be about 35% which is relatively high for topical preparations. Hydroquinone distributes rapidly and widely and is metabolized to p-benzoquinone and other products. It is metabolized in the liver by conjugation to monoglucuronide, monosulfate, and mercaptopuric derivatives. The excretion of hydroquinone and its metabolites is rapid, and occurs primarily via the urine. No data are available on its transfer into human milk. Although it is quite polar and water soluble, it also has a rather high pKa (9.96) which could lead to some trapping in human milk.

          While it does not seem to be very toxic, its chronic use in breastfeeding mothers is probably not warranted for such benign syndromes that could wait until the mother has weaned the infant off the breast.

          Tom Hale Ph.D.


          • #6
            Is it safe to use Bihaku wonder bleach for the lactating mother?