Brown / Age Spot Removal for a Man, Without Beard Loss?

I'm a man with brown/age spots on my face. I want to use a laser for fading them, such as an IPL, Pulsed Dye, Erbium YAG Q-switched, etc. But these lasers have the side-effect of removing hair. I don't want to have "empty patches" of no beard! HELP: What lasers can remove spots but don't affect hair growth?? (Oh, and if you recommend fractionated lasers like Fraxel or FX, okay, but from several doctors' comments, they don't zero-in on spots as much as the IPL, PDL, Yag/Q-sw lasers).

Doctor Answers 12

Treatment of Pigmented (Age Spots) With Melasma Cream

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I have found age spots respond very well to the same treatment I use for melasma, which is the mask of pregnancy.  It has the usual components (a corticosteroid, a Retin-A like product, a lightening agent), but the main component is kojic acid. 

Here in Hawaii due to the exposure to sunlight for both older people and post-pregnancy females, we see an inordinate amount of acquired pigmented lesions on one's face.  A pharmacy on Oahu has helped me compound a Melasma cream.  This, of course, won't affect your beard in the least. 

Treating Men with Brown/Age Spots

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I treat men with sun spots/brown spots all day long.  I use the Fraxel Dual laser for pigmentation if there is a lot of sun damage and the Yag if there are just a few isolated brown spots.  They are great lasers and do not cause any beard loss.  Beware if someone suggests the IPL laser since that can cause the hair loss that you are concerned with.  Please find a cosmetic dermatologist who is board certified with a background in cosmetic dermatology.

Pearl laser is a good treatment for age spots and will not effect hair follicle.

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I like the Pearl laser for modest sun damage (color spots).  There are other alternatives but this is a quick and well tolerated procedure.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Removing age spots on a male face

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Various treatments can be offered, and laser would not be ideal as it could compromise some of your hairs. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are an option, as are various fading/bleaching creams. Good sun protection is ofcourse critical to a great result and preventing recurrence. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Age spot removal in the beard area

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If your brown spots are in the beard area, consider a series of light chemical peels, fading creams or liquid nitrogen.  You should use sun protection to prevent darkening of the spots.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Alexandrite lasers among others are options

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Theoretically any laser can reduce hair growth.

However the intensity and number of treatments to fade brown spots is generally much less than that used to permanently remove hair.

The fractional lasers like C02, Fraxel etc are not ideal for this particular task.

Trying a test spot is always reasonable, no matter which treatment you choose.

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Brown / Age Spot Removal for a Man, Without Beard Loss?

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A series of Vipeels, three, a month a part is a good option to remove brown spots on your face. The Vipeel usually has no threat of losing facial hair.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Improve Brown Age Spots While Preserving Facial Hair

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If you are bothered by your age spots and would like them treated without losing facial hair, a great treatment option is chemical peeling.  There are many different types and strengths of chemical peels, the selection of which depends on the individual's skin type, areas of concern and ability or inability to have much downtime. Chemical peeling is also an excellent treatment modality for skin tightening and for improving fine lines and wrinkles, texture, pores, tone and sun damage.  I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation and discussion of treatment options. 


Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Fade age spots without losing hair

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Why not consider a chemical peel?  This is a perfect way to remove or fade age spots (depending on the depth of the peel which in turns determines your down time) and unlike lasers it will not remove facial hair.  It will also tighten the skin and can be preventative against pre-cancers.

Stacey Tull, MD
Chesterfield Dermatologic Surgeon

Your best option is just not to treat your beard area

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I treat many, many men in my offices. For those that don't want hair loss, we simply don't treat the beard area, or go much lighter on that area. Fraxel is more resurfacing and not what I would recommend for general skin discoloration and age spots. You need to discuss your concerns with a physician, and please make sure you do these treatments with a physician's supervision, but you can easily have effective IPL treatments without getting hair loss.

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.