monobenzone

Definition / meaning of monobenzone

A monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone with topical depigmentation activity. Although the exact mechanism of action of depigmentation is unknown, the metabolites of monobenzone appear to have a cytotoxic effect on melanocytes. Furthermore, the depigmentation effect might be mediated through the inhibition of tyrosinase, which is essential in the synthesis of melanin pigments, thereby causing permanent depigmentation of the skin.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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