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Background. Mild to moderately photodamaged skin is characterized by dyspigmentation, fine wrinkles, and tactile roughness. An optimal approach to the topical treatment of photoaging would simultaneously address all appearance issues.

Objective. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of 4% hydroquinone and 0.3% retinol in photoaging.

Materials and Methods. A 16-week study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of a single cream containing prescription topical 4% hydroquinone for dyspigmentation and the cosmeceutical 0.3% retinol for fine wrinkles in an emollient vehicle for tactile roughness. This novel formulation was compared with 0.05% tretinoin emollient cream, the standard against which all other topical photoaging treatments are compared. Investigator assessments, subject assessments, and photography represented the evaluation end points.

Results. The cosmeceutical emollient 4% hydroquinone/0.3% retinol cream more effectively diminished the collective signs of photodamage than 0.05% tretinoin emollient cream in terms of dyspigmentation, fine wrinkles, and tactile roughness in 16 weeks.

Conclusion. Combination therapy of hydroquinone and retinol may improve photoaging-associated hyperpigmentation.

THIS STUDY WAS CONDUCTED AS PART OF A RESEARCH GRANT FROM MEDICIS THE DERMATOLOGY COMPANY, PHOENIX, ARIZONA. DR. DRAELOS HAS NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN ANY OF THE MEDICATIONS DISCUSSED IN THIS RESEARCH.