What is the best way to get rid of facial brown spots?

The spots are either sun spots, age spots or liver spots and are increasing. I don't want to use fade creams. I'm a little darker than fair complexion, not much though. What is the most beneficial procedure?

Doctor Answers 19

Best Treatment for Brown Spots on Face

There is a couple different treatments you can do for this problem. The Sciton Profile BBL treatment works well in targeting melanin in the skin which causes the brown pigmentation. Another great option is the Permea laser by Clear and Brilliant. They are both quick and easy procedures, I recommend doing either in a series of 3or4 4-6 weeks apart.

As always, wearing SPF45 or higher on a daily basis is very important.

#sunspots. #brownspots. #agespots

Best treatment for age/sun spots?


I have treated sun spots and age spots via multiple different methods in the past such as chemical peels, photo facials, and lasers.  By far and away the most effective treatment I have found, and then one I recommend to patients with these concerns is the combination of the HALO laser by Sciton coupled with Broad Band Light (BBL) at the same time.  We ask patients to arrive 30 minutes early for topical numbing cream.  After the patient is numb I perform a BBL treatment on the entire face.  Immediately after the BBL treatment I perform a full face HALO treatment at the following settings: 1470nm - 400 um, 30%; 2940nm - 30 um, 18%.  The face is red like a bad sunburn for 2 days after which thousands of brown specks appear in the face which is the pigment coming to the surface and being shed.  On day 3 patients can start to exfoliate their skin to help get rid of the brown specks.  The brown specks are usually completely gone at days 5-7 depending on the patient.  Your skin will need more frequent moisturization for a couple weeks after the procedure but the results are phenomenal.  My wife asks for the treatment once a year in the Fall and loves it.  It is the only treatment I have found that gets rid of the vast majority of spots in a single session.  The caveat is that you will continue to develop new sun spots over time with continued sun exposure no matter how conscientious you are with sunscreen so the treatment needs to be repeated yearly.  Best of luck to you.

Cody A. Koch, MD, PhD
Des Moines Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Facial Brown Spots with Fraxel, Peels, Tri-Vantage Lasers

There are various ways to get rid of brown spots on your face and it depends on both your skin type and the nature of your brown spots.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with experience with treating these sun spots with lasers.  Best, Dr. Green

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Sun spots

There are many non -Hydroquinone skin lightening creams available. I usually recommend the Skin Medica Lytera system, in addition to daily sunscreen,spf >30. Photofacials could also be very effective. Please see your dermatologist for the treatments that will work best for you.

Gail Nield, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Melarase AM is a non-Hydroquinone skin lightening cream

Some lightening creams are necessary to maintain results. I would begin with application of Melarase AM which is a non-HQ skin lightener followed by IPL Limelight, light chemical peels, and Q switch laser. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Facial Brown Spots

There are several technologies available for removal of brown spots, and the choice of which modality depends on several factors. In general, avoidance of sun exposure and use of sunscreen, is important both to lessen the appearance of brown spots, as well as to prepare for treatment.  Lasers that target pigment like Alexandrite, or treatments with IPL (intense pulsed light) can very safely and effectively remove unwanted dark spots in 1-3 treatments. Make sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, with experience with laser- and light-based treatments.

Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Get rid of facial brown spots

There are a number of treatments that you can use. The first step is to choose an experienced and expert board certified physician who can guide you.

1) A good sunscreen is a must - we prefer a broad spectrum at least 50 SPF for South Florida

2) Core Obagi which includes clear, blender, and Retin A

3) You may also benefit from a combination laser resurfacing treatment/intense pulse light (such as Halo Laser and BBL/ipl).

Consult with 3 experienced and expert board certified physicians to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Facial brown spots

The first thing you should do is practice sun avoidance to keep your skin from getting any worse. If you must go out in the sun, you should wear a hat and sunscreen. To get rid of patchy pigmentation (melasma) chemical peels and skin lightening creams (such as hydroquinone) work best. To get rid of brown spots (lentigines) lasers and light based treatments work best.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Solution for Hypopigmentation

Hypopigmentation, or decreased pigment in a certain area, is really tough for us. If it's secondary to a condition like vitiligo, there are specific treatments for returning pigment to that area. However, if it's hypopigmentation from post-inflammatory, or inflamed skin, it has the possibility to hypo-pigment after the inflammation resolves.
This issue is really a challenge for us as dermatologists. Usually, just tincture of time, or letting pigment homogenize from the surrounding areas is our best option for re-pigmentation in that area. Lasers don't work well for hypopigmentation, but they can be a nice viable option for hyperpigmentation.

Bobby Buka, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Brown Spots

Melasma or facial pigmentation is a very difficult condition to treat. In our office, we use a variety of treatments including skin care products (containing retinoic acid, hydroquinone, glycolic acids), sunscreens, chemical peels, and lasers (IPL/BBL, Q-switch, PICO, Fraxel). Over the last few years, we have had great success with the ZO Blue Peel in treating hyperpigmentation. This is a robust in-office procedure that provides dermal and epidermal stimulation allowing for maximal tightening, restoration and rejuvenation of the skin. It also minimizes or eliminates the appearance of melasma [both epidermal and dermal melasma] and facial pigmentation. All patients require 6 weeks of skin conditioning prior to the procedure with the ZO Hydroquinone or Non-Hydroquinone kit.  These are advanced techniques so be sure to get an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon consultation for recommendations and treatment options. 

Alim R. Devani, MD, FRCPC
Calgary Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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.