Dark spot formula - expectations and possible side effects

When can I expect to see results with the dark spot formula? 

It’s important to have realistic expectations when using the dark spot formula! It usually takes 8-12 weeks of consistent treatment and sun protection to notice any lightening of dark spots. This timeline varies from person to person, however, so it’s not a guarantee.

If you don’t see any improvement in hyperpigmentation after several months of treatment, you can message your Curology provider to talk about the possibility of trying new active ingredients in your custom formula. If your dark spots are particularly stubborn, your provider may recommend consulting a local dermatologist to talk about alternative procedures.  

What are the possible risks and side effects associated with the dark spot formula?  

Just like any other prescription medication, the dark spot formula comes with possible risks, but you can help minimize them by following your provider’s instructions! Possible side effects include having irritation, itching, rashes, or allergic reactions occur where the formula is applied. 

It’s possible to unintentionally lighten the skin surrounding your dark spots when treating them with hydroquinone, creating a “halo spot.” It’s usually possible for the skin to return to normal but may take several months. 

When used long-term, there is a small risk that hydroquinone can lead to permanent blue/black darkening of the skin, so it’s important to follow your provider’s instructions and take breaks from your dark spot formula as directed. Also, note that using a hydroquinone topical together with peroxide products (including but not limited to benzoyl peroxide and hydrogen peroxide) may stain your skin. This staining can usually be removed with soap and water. 

If you notice halo spots forming, dark spots getting darker, or other discoloration, please stop using the formula and let your Curology provider know.

It’s possible—although very rare!—to see more serious side effects with long-term topical corticosteroid use, especially at higher strengths. These side effects include HPA axis suppression, Cushing syndrome, hyperglycemia, cataracts, glaucoma, and intracranial hypertension. As always, if you notice any unusual symptoms while using the dark spot formula, please stop using it and reach out to your provider—they’ll be happy to help!

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