Exogenous ochronosis and striae atrophicae following the use of bleaching creams

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Exogenous ochronosis is a paradoxical hyper-pigmentation of the skin caused by the long-term use of hydroquinone-containing bleaching creams. Ochronosis is an uncommon condition characterized by yellow-brown pigmented deposits in the dermis. We report two cases of exogenous ochronosis in two female patients of the sub-Saharan African population. The lesions were characterized by an asymptomatic hyper-pigmentation of the face with gradually progressive blue-black macular patches, and in case no. 2, in addition to dyschromic lesions, striae atrophicae were present. This phenomenon is the outcome of the use of skin care products containing high concentrations of hydroquinone- and glucocorticoid-based products, and, in addition, certain modalities in the use of bleaching products are likely to facilitate complications.

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