What is the Best Effective Treatment to Remove Brown Age Spots on Medium Brown Skin Tone

I am Indian descent - Medium brown complexion, I have age spots on both of my cheeks about 4 inches in measurements on each cheek. I know that people with darker skin have to be more careful when treating this but are there any effective treatments that have been used and worked on people with colour?

Doctor Answers 11

The best treatment to remove brown age spots

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One of the most effective (and least expensive) ways to remove brown age spots due to chronic sun damage is by using a combination of two prescription strength medications: tretinoin cream and 4% hydroquinone cream. Unlike the unsubstantiated claims made by over-the-counter skin care products, the results of using these creams are backed by real medical science. I recommend the Obagi Nu-Derm System which uses both tretinoin cream and hydroquinone to visibly lighten age spots as well as the fine lines and wrinkles that are due to chronic sun exposure.
Obagi Skin Care systems and products have been tested and researched over many years creating a skin care treatment that is dramatically different from anything else on the market. They promote changes clearly visible both on the surface and at a structural level beneath the treated areas of the skin. 

South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Try Obagi Nu-Derm system

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We've had great success with Obagi Nu-Derm system for treatment of melasma and dark pigmentation especially in patients with darker skin types

Anatoli Freiman, MD
Toronto Dermatologist

Removal of Brown Age Spots on Medium/Indian Skin Tone

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It is very wise to be educated on your skin tone and color.  If you have medium brown skin tone then the laser treatments will not usually be the best ones for you.  It may take longer with chemical peel and Retinoids and hydroquinones, but it will be safer and more effective.  You can also use other topicals such as Vitamin C serum and other anti-aging serums to safely lighten up your complexion.  Please find a board certified dermatologist who has a lot of experience with cosmetic dermatology.

Age spot removal in Indian skin

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For the removal of age spots in darker skin, topical lightening products are the best way to start.  Unfortunately, your skin type is usually not amenable to treatment with the q-switched lasers which can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  Combining topical lightening agents like Hydroquinone and retinoid products like Retin-A.  We typically use the Obagi Nu-Derm system in combination with superficial peels like glycolic peels or Vitalize peels from Skin Medica and get great results.

Ritu Saini, MD - Account Suspended
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Large age spots on Indian Skin

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My approach combines topical creams followed by peels.

The topical creams are tretinoin, 4% hydroquinone and glycolics, usually those in the Obagi Nuderm line.

Once the discoloration has improve to your satisfaction, TCA or gycolic peels will help make the result long-lasting or permanent.

However large brown discoloration across both cheeks is typical of the effects of hormones, usually from pregnancy or estrogens. It may not be possible to remove these entirely but the combination of creams and peels can be good enough that you don't need make up to conceal them.
Also - stay out of the sun, wear a sun block and have hormones checked.

Hope this helps.

Age spots on the cheeks

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You probably have melasma on your cheeks rather than age spots.  The diagnosis can be confirmed by a dermatologist.  A combination of fading ingredients containing tretinoin and hydroquinone, sun protection, and light chemical peels can all help fade the pigment.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

What is the Best Effective Treatment to Remove Brown Age Spots on Medium Brown Skin Tone

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In our practice we offer the ViPeel, this peel can be used safely on all skin types.  A series of three peels, one month apart is usually very effective in removing brown spots on the face.

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

Treating Brown Spots In Darker Skin Types

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A topical regimen combining topical tretinoin (RetinA) cream and hydroquinone 4% cream, both of which are prescription-strength medications, can be very effective for lightening brown spots and brown discoloration in darker skin types. Chemical peeling (done appropriately and conservatively) can be helpful as well, when done by a well-trained professional who respects darker skin types. And most importantly, strict sun avoidance is essential as sun will only darken these spots and work against the treatments or topicals that are trying to improve the spots. 



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

Fraxel Dual for Age Spots on Ethnic Skin

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Fraxel Dual is the best treatment to remove pigmentation issues on darker skin. It uses two wavelengths, the 1550nm and the 1927nm. Wavelengths in the longer range are safer for warmer skin tones because the melanin pigment does not absorb this energy very easily. Therefore there is less chance for lower layers of the skin to become overheated and scar. The laser works to break up excess pigment which is then removed by the body's elimination system.  Here is a video of an Asian patient who had her brown spots treated with Fraxel Dual.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Treating brown spots in dark skin

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First, make sure a skin expert such as a dermatologist ascertains the type and depth of pigmentation you have, and potential triggers for it (e.g. sun, birth control pill, pregnancy, other medicines). Because of the risk of problems with lasers in dark skin, I'd likely first try a fading or bleaching cream formulation or system with hydroquinone, tretinoin, steroid, &/or vitamin C.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

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.