What is the best option for age spot removal on the face? (Photo)

I am a 39 y/o female with a few age spots I would like removed. I have had these spots since my early 30's. I have tried kojic creams, glycolic acid, Clinique, and Rodan & Fields Reverse with out any luck.

Doctor Answers 26

Brown spots

This certainly looks like IPL could help. Given that it is an age / brown/ sunspot a certified professional in dermatology should look at it first. Usually a few treatments can resolve this kind of lesion. 

Bryn Mawr Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Age spot

There are many options for removing benign age spots (solar lentigines) ranging from IPL, peels, and certain lasers. However, the first step is a formal consultation with a qualified physician in your area. 

Samuel Hetz, MSc, MD
Ottawa Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Removing Age Spots (Brown Spots) and Keeping Them Away

I see you live in Florida - where the climate gives you ample exposure to sun and heat! 

Removing pigmented spots can be achieved (for the most part) through many different avenues. Products that do not require a prescription do not give the same results as those you would get in a dermatologist's office. 

PREVENTION is a huge part of the equation in keeping your skin as spot free as possible. Sunscreen sun blocks, hats, avoidance of midday sun exposure, proper skin products, and consistent care practices fall into the prevention category. 

It's helpful to zero in on what habits you have that may be increasing your skin's pigment response. Many people will have more dark pigment or spots on the left side of their face since that's the side exposed while driving a car. Inconsistent use of sunscreen - even if you only skip a day here and there - can mean you'll see spots. Hormones in birth control pills are a particular trigger for many young women. 

Tackling the problem of existing brown spots and age spots (which aren't really "age" spots, but a result of repeated sun exposure), can take the form of RX skin products, peels such as Cosmelan or other pigment-focused chemical peels, IPL, Alexandrite lasers, fractional radio frequency devices, thulium laser (Fraxel Dual), etc.

AFTER any treatment to reduce brown discoloration and spots, you need to be extra diligent in sun protection, even going so far as to avoid being out in the heat or going to the gym where heating up your body excites the cells that produce pigment. 

Sunscreen takes about 30 minutes before it provides any real protection. Sunblocks with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide work immediately and are a good choice for those who are in a rush and can't wait that 30 minute activation time for sunscreens.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Removing age spots

IPL has worked very well in my practice for greatly reducing or eliminating brown lesions such as yours.  It may take 2-3 treatments, but the treatments are non-invasive and require no "down time".  Good luck!

Ramon Peleaux, DDS, MD
Charlotte Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


"Age spots", "brown spots", "sun spots" etc are typically treated quite well with something as simple as IPL (intense pulsed light) or the similar technology BBL (broad band light). These may require more than one session, but can be highly effective. I usually recommend that patients give IPL a try as it is very simple with no real downtime or recovery. In my practice, other more aggressive laser treatments or peels are definitely an option, but are reserved for patients whose lesions do not respond to the less invasive therapies such as IPL. Before undergoing any treatment, a visit with a board-certified physician specializing in treatment of the face and facial skin would be needed for a proper history and exam.

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews


Since you have tried topical brightening creams without much success, the next step could be a combination of TCA peels and laser to help resurface the skin. The laser treatment I would recommend would be Fraxel.

Yannis Alexandrides, MD
London Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Age spot removal on the face

You're correct that there are many treatment options for the removal of this area skin that is hyperpigmented. In order to remove this age spot, you need to treat the entire area skin to ensure removal. For this reason, I do not like fractional treatments/lasers as they only treat part of the skin surface. Different practitioners will differ in their opinions based on their experience and results. I do not believe these areas will go away with topical treatments/creams. You're going to need a more aggressive treatment in a medical office to ensure removal. At my practice, the best chance you have to remove this area is with a TCA chemical peel.

I hope this helps

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Age spot removal

Age spots or lentigos are common on the cheeks especially as we age. Options include:

(1) very simple daily use of key topical skin products (good idea, results are gradual), (2) gentle lasers (targets brown spots, vessels, fine lines, and might require a few days of downtime, results are quicker), (3) more aggressive treatment of aging skin with lasers or deep peels (most dramatic results but definitely requires several days of downtime for healing) In this case we often see improvement with topical chemical peels. 

Some people require only a little care while others require more aggressive treatments. 

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Best Age Spot Removal is PicoSure

Before considering to have it removed and since you live in the sunshine state, I highly suggest you have a complete skin check to check for any precancerous skin spots first.  One you are all cleared, the best current therapy that can remove that spot is PicoSure Focus Skin Rejuvenation. It is very safe, doesn't burn your skin, virtually painless and will also tighten the skin. It is the best option . Other options can be IPL Max G Photofacial or 1540 Icon Fractional resurfacing. Please use sunscreen of above 30+ DAILY and good antioxidant, like CE ferric by Skinceuticals. Hope this helps. Best, Dr.Avaliani

Anna Avaliani, MD
New York Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


Darker, large spots like this need more than just skin care products.  I recommend IPL or BBL.  The treatment is quick with no downtime.  You may possibly need 2-3 treatments to completely get rid of the pigment.  Using SPF, Vitamin C and Retinol skin care products daily will also help with future pigment.

William Lovett, MD
Cincinnati Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.