When using a hydroquinone-containing cream, a minimum of two hand washings is required prior to measuring blood glucose levels to avoid the possibility of false readings

In August 2018 researchers from France and South Africa published the results of their study to assess the technical and clinical impact of hydroquinone-containing creams on blood glucose levels and the effectiveness of hand washing and other common practices, in reversing the cream’s effect. A total of 91 individuals were included in the study. The hydroquinone content of a cream was assessed following which two different types of blood glucose meters (Accu-Chek Active and OneTouch Ultra 2) were used to measure fasting blood glucose levels after: initial hand washing, the application of 1 ml of hydroquinone-containing cream, finger swabbing with wet gauze, sanitizer application and a series of three hand washings following application of the cream. Results showed that the hydroquinone-containing cream caused significant false readings irrespective of the type of blood glucose meter used. In addition, it was also found that a minimum of two hand washings were required after using the hydroquinone-containing used in order to obtain an accurate blood glucose level reading.

Choukem SP et al. Effects of hydroquinone-containing creams on capillary glycemia before and after serial hand washings in Africans. PLoS One. 2018 Aug 28;13(8):e0202271

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