Monobenzone is the monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone used medically for depigmentation. Monobenzone occurs as a white, almost tasteless crystalline powder, soluble in alcohol and practically insoluble in water. The topical application of monobenzone in animals increases the excretion of melanin from the melanocytes. The same action is thought to be responsible for the depigmenting effect of the drug in humans. Monobenzone may cause destruction of melanocytes and permanent depigmentation.
The Pharmacodynamics of Monobenzone.
Monobenzone is the monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone. Monobenzone, applied topically to the skin, is used as a depigmenting agent inhibitting melanin produced by polymerization of oxidation products of tyrosine and dihydroxyphenyl compounds. Monobenzone works by permanently removing color from normal skin located around skin with vitiligo.
The Mechanism of action of Monobenzone.
Monobenzone is a depigmenting agent whose mechanism of action is not fully understood. The topical application of monobenzone in animals, increases the excretion of melanin from the melanocytes. The same action is thought to be responsible for the depigmenting effect of the drug in humans. Monobenzone may cause destruction of melanocytes and permanent depigmentation. This effect is erratic and may take one to four months to occur while existing melanin is lost with normal sloughing of the stratum corneum. Hyperpigmented skin appears to fade more rapidly than does normal skin, and exposure to sunlight reduces the depigmenting effect of the drug. The histology of the skin after depigmentation with topical monobenzone is the same as that seen in vitiligo; the epidermis is normal except for the absence of identifiable melanocytes.
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