What to Use for Removing Black Spots on Face?

I have dark spots on my face that go around I have like a beard from both ears to the chin and forehead. I used peeling creams, and at first it seemed like it was working, but now nothing is happening. What can I use to get rid of this? Please help!

Doctor Answers 3


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I am in concordance with Dr. Aldea that you most likely have a condition called melasma. Most cases of melasma can be tied in to female hormonal production since melasma either begins or worsens with pregnancy or with the taking of birth control pill. In pregnancy it is dubbed chloasma ( though I could never figure this one out melas is Greek for black, makes sense, but chloa is derived from the Greek word to turn green.. I've never seen green on a woman's face, pregnant or not, unless its been a poor makeup choice).

However, you should realize that not all pigmentation on the face is due to hormonal input. Some photosensitizing drugs can cause the same appearance. Also, thyroid abnormalities and even perfumes and cosmetics. Women with melasma have four times the incidence of thyroid abnormalities than women without this vexing discoloration.

It is crucial to wear sunscreens. Many patients have had their melasma clear, only to recur for failure to take this simple, daily measure. It is important to realize that even window glass is not fully protective since experts feel all wavelengths of the sun may cause melasma. Bottom line: wear sunscreens even if you are indoors.

Using a Wood's Lamp, your dermatologist can determine where the pigment lies. The more superficial, that is the closer to the epidermal-dermal junction (the place where the two top layers of the skin meet), the more amenable your condition will be to treatment.

Melasma is difficult to treat. Please realize that, just as melasma was usually slow in onset, its resolution is slow in coming. Some of the more destructive, quick-fixes such as cryotherapy, laser or medium depth peels only exacerbate the situation.

However, mild superficial peels can be quite effective, especially when combined with bleaching agents. A recent study showed that a combination of a gentle exfoliator such as weak glycolic acid, Vitamin C and a hydroquinone, used for two weeks before a gentle peel, improved results.

Hydroquinone remains the mainstay of treatment. Other agents which are helpful are the Retinoids ( I prefer weaker ones such as Retin A microgel 0.04, and Differin cream 0.1), Arbutin, Vitamin C, Azelaic acid, kojic acid, and Resorcinol.

Good luck and I hope this has been good advice.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Removing black spots on face?

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La China,

It APPEARS you have a condition called MELASMA. It is caused by many factors including female hormone fluctuations. The good news is that it is very treatable - the bad news is that the treatment has to go on for months-years and could be expensive.

In the long term it would be FAR cheaper to seek out a good Dermatologist where you live and do what he/she tells you to do THAN repeatedly buying and trying the tens and hundreds of utterly USELESS of lotions in the back of women's magazines and on the cosmetics counters. Trust me.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD, FACS

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Dark spots on the face

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I can't tell from you photo what is going on here but would recommend that you find one of many excellent dermatologists in Miami who is used to working with pigmented skin and ask rhem.  Here's where you need a real expert even if they are more expensive. 

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.