Brown Spots on Face Treatment Advice

I am 39 year old female with brown spots, some freckling, broken capillaries and red blotches/rosacea, and dull skin that does not exfoliate well. Which laser treatment would be best for me? Also, in regard to the actual machine, which type is best? What is the minimum power or frequency needed for very good results? I have called several doctors and they all say their machines are best for what I need. Please help!

Doctor Answers 22


An IPL ( intense pulsed light) device would be best since it would be more effective, less expensive, less risky, and give you less downtime than a laser. An IPL which gives off light in the green part of the visible light spectrum (550 nanometers) would be the most apt. It treats both the vascular problems, rosacea, and brown spots.

A number of companies make excellent IPL machines including the Sciton IPL, the Palomar LuXG, Alma's Harmony and Cutera Limelight.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Laser Treatments

There is no one machine best for everything. Treating brown spots either with a Q-switched laser or an intense pulsed light (IPL) source can be used. With a Q-switched laser, fewer treatments are required but there is some treatment-associated downtime. In the end, both of these devices can work for the treatment of brown spots but there is no machine perfect for everything you have described. In terms of the energy required from the machine, the same Q-switched laser from different manufacturers may be used at different energies. It is impossible without seeing you to determine the appropriate frequency or energy that you require.

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Brown Spots on Face Treatment

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Brown Spots


Thank you for your question . A photo facial treatment would be the best option for you. It will treat the brown spots, redness, and capillaries. We use a palomar laser, and can switch between different handpieces to get the best result. For instance the wave lengths of the green handpiece works best of reds and capillaries. While the wavelength of the yellow handpiece works best on the brown. It is just as important to make sure that the doctor is qualified and experienced with this level of work. Good luck!

Janet Allenby, DO
Delray Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Brown Spots on the Face and Laser Treatment with IPL, Fraxel, and Alex-Trivantage

There are several lasers which can be used to treat brown and red spots. IPL can be used to treat both red and brown spots and takes a number of treatments to improve both.  Fraxel and Tri-Vantage lasers are newer and better able to remove brown spots.  Isolated dark brown spots can be treated best with Candela's Alex-Trivantage.  The V-Beam laser is he best laser to treat facial redness and also requires several treatments.  Please consult an expert in facial pigmentation and lasers for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Intense pulsed light would be helpful

There is not one best laser treatment for you.  A lot depends on the expertise of the provider to give you options.  Intense pulsed light would be helpful, but you can likewise get a good response to pulsed dye laser and topical lightening agents.  Fraxel could be done for texture and brown discoloration.  Even fractional CO2 would be an option.  What's more important is that you do a full consultation with an experienced laser surgeon who can discuss those options and cater a program based on  your lifestyle, skin color, ability for downtime and budget.  All those aspects will help you and  them choose the best laser for you.

William Kwan, MD, FAAD
San Francisco Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Treating Brownspots

There is no single best treatment for brown spots and redness as everyone's skin is different and the depth of hyperpigmented lesion will vary.  For treating browns and reds, IPL's, in particular newer IPL's are a good place to start.  I like Lumecca as it seems to focus its energy on browns and reds more specifically than other IPL's.  Other treatments can include a variety of lasers including Nd:YAG, q-switched lasers, chemical peels, etc.  Find a provider with experience and a variety of lasers to effectively treat your condition.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Treating Facial Brown Spots with Permea Technology

Perméa is the latest technology utilizing a low-power 1927 nm non-invasive fractional laser for rejuvenation and pigmentation. The Clear + Brilliant Perméa is designed to address early signs of aging and help to prevent them.The results of the treatment are both immediate and progressive. A few days after the treatment, your skin will start to feel softer, look brighter and show more even tone and reduction of brown spots.

#Permealasertreatments    #ClearandBrilliant    #brownspottreatments

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Make your decision based on the expertise of your provider, not on the machine and its settings

I would recommend a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist.  Choosing an appropriate treatment will depend on your skin type and the types of spots you have.  

The most important part of your decision-making process is choosing the right person, with enough knowledge and experience, to help you with your goals.  Choosing the right device and adjusting the settings is an art, as well as a science.

Melissa Chiang, MD, FAAD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Treatment of Browns and Reds on face

Treatment of browns and reds on fair skin of the face, neck, chest arms, hands is easily done using BBL, a more sophisticated form of IPL.  This treatment is one of our treatments we refer as a 'WOW' treatment.  For those with pigment and texture we can progress beyond BBL and offer Halo Treatments which have become quite popular in our office.   Halo is a new hybrid fractional laser and is first in class in our modalities. 

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.