Kojic acid (5-hydroxy-4 pyran 4-1-2 methyl) is a fungal derivative which inactivates tyrosinase via chelation of copper. Concentrations range from 2 to 4%. It can be used for monotherapy or in combination with retinoids or other cosme-ceutical products such as glycolic acid. Compared with hydroquinone, these kojic acid formulations usually show less efficacy. However, they may be effective in patients who do not tolerate hydroquinone. In addition, they can be used as maintenance therapies for treatment of hyperpigmentation following 4-6 months of hydroquinone treatment.
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