What Can I Do to Remove Dark Spots?

I have dark/discolored spots on my face either from old sun damage or hormones. What can I do to remove those?

Doctor Answers 2

Removal of Dark Spots

Brown spots on the skin—typically on the face, chest, shoulders, and back of hands—can be the direct result of unprotected exposure to the sun. They can also be a result of hormonal changes and are a common skin problem that we, consult many of our patients about.

The flat spots on the skin—also called age spots, sun spots, solar lentigines, or liver spots (even though they have nothing to do with the liver)—are triggered after prolonged sun exposure. When the sun’s UV rays hit the skin, they damage the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes and causing a spike in production of the skin pigment called melanin. They’re common in patients with fair skin, but they can also appear in those with darker skin.

These spots range in color from brown to tan to dark brown based on how much sun exposure you’ve had—and cause your skin to look blotchy, freckled, and uneven. And they vary in size, again depending on how much sun you’ve been exposed to.

Link to hormones: As hormone levels may change during events such as pregnancy or due to birth control pills, brown, uneven patches can appear on a woman’s face when the skin is exposed to the sun. It seems that sunlight triggers the pigment-producing cells in the skin to go into overdrive. Called the melasma, these dark patches may persist and not improve even with bleaching creams.

If you are interested in getting rid of dark spots on the face the Gentle Max Pro Alexandrite resurfacing treatment will quickly and easily eliminate them, leaving the skin clear and youthful. The number of treatments will depend on your skin—and how many brown spots you have. Expect that you might need one to several treatments over the course of several weeks to get rid of the dark spots entirely. Following the treatment, any spots treated by this laser will become darker in color, scab and gently flake off. Total downtime can vary from two to five days. This laser is brilliant! It’s quick, there is no scarring and very little downtime.

New York Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Treatment of dark age spots

As age the pigment cells in the skin migrate into small gatherings on the skin surface creating freckle like age spots  i.e. a blotchy skin pigmentation. The medical term is solar lentigines. Without a face to face examination one cannot say what would be best in your case. Your available options are chemical peel, laser resurfacing and IPL.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic 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.