Disorders of hyperpigmentation are difficult to treat, particularly in dark-skinned individuals. The goal is to reduce the hyperpigmentation without causing undesirable hypopigmentation or irritation in the surrounding normally pigmented skin. The psychosocial impact caused by these disorders must be considered. Although there are many effective therapeutic modalities available, there are potentially significant side-effects associated with treatment. The most commonly used treatment is topical hydroquinone. There are other phenolic agents, such as N-acetyl-4-cystaminylphenol (NCAP), that are currently being studied and developed. The non-phenolic agents, which include tretinoin, adapalene, topical corticosteroids, azelaic acid, arbutin, kojic acid, and licorice extract, are also used for hyperpigmentation disorders.