Freckles on 13yr Old?

My 13 yr old has freckles all over her face and she is really unhappy about them. Is she too young for ipl? and if not what might the side effects be on such young skin? I have read differing reviews on creams and not sure I want to waste money on something that might not work. What are the chances that her freckles will go away on there own? She has gotten more over the years not less. Hope you can help to answer some of my questions. Thanks

Doctor Answers 4

Minimizing freckles

To best minimize freckles, avoid or protect from the sun using a broad-brimmed hat, large sunglasses, and a good quality sunscreen or sunblock. IPL can be considered, though she is a bit young  - that said, if she is quite disturbed by it and can tolerate the discomfort, IPL would be a reasonable treatment option. ~Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews


In this situation, I would highly recommend that she wear an effective sunblock.  Although there is no reason why she can't have IPL treatment, it is my recommendation that she wait until she is older to do this.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Freckles on a child, good candidate for IPL?

Her best friend will be an effective sunblock.  Preferably a mineral based SPF (Zinc and Titanium Dioxide) as they reflect the rays away from the skin vs absorbing the UVA/UVB rays.  A good one is Biopelle Up the Anti.  In addition, I might suggest checking out a good mineral powder that she can apply throughout the day to boost her protection.  This protection will be a committment if she wants to see her freckles lessen.  There is no reason she can't have IPL to help break those freckles up and speed up the process.  She will likely need approximately 3 treatments at 3-4 week intervals. 

Mario J. Imola, MD, DDS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Freckles on 13yr old

Freckles will not go away on their own and you should be sure that your daughter is wearing a broad-spectrum SPF every day, rain or shine.  If not, she will continue to see more freckles as time goes on.  A good one for teens that doesn't feel greasy and won't cause breakouts is Neutrogena "Clear Face" SPF.

As far as having IPL treatments, there is no medical reason why she can't have them (you will have to be present and sign her consent for treatment because she is under 18), however, these treatments are not exactly comfortable and might be a bit scary for someone her age.  If she decides to go through with it, she will likely need at least 3-6 treatments, 3 weeks apart.

Topical creams can lighten freckles, but take a long time to see results (1-3 months).  A 4% hydroquinone cream is typically prescribed, but many of the new OTC "skin brighteners" with Vitamin C, Arbutin, Kojic Acid, etc. can also be effective and are often gentler on the skin.  Again, daily SPF is especially a must when using such topicals.

Z. Paul Lorenc, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 34 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.