Journal of Arthritis

ISSN - 2167-7921


Ochronosis is a syndrome caused by the accumulation of homogentisic acid in connective tissues. The condition was named after the yellowish (ocher-like) discoloration of the tissue seen on microscopic examination. Macroscopically, though, the affected tissues appear bluish-grey because of a light-scattering phenomenon known as the Tyndall effect. The condition is most often associated with alkaptonuria, but can occur from exogenous administration of phenol complexes such as hydroquinone. It was first described by Rudolf Virchow in 1865 Exogenous ochronosis can be caused from long-term use of certain "skin-lightening" products, even if the hydroquinone is in amounts as small as 2%.  Skin-lightening products are still prevalent in many parts of the world. This may be due to aesthetic or social-standing reasons, in areas where a lighter skin tone is considered to be a sign of wealth or beauty. Also, skin-lightening creams containing compounds such as hydroquinone are commonly used to help with hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma.
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