If you have a face full of freckles, chances are these spots have been your trademark since childhood. But this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your freckles for life. If you want to trade your signature spots for an even complexion, your dermatologist can provide safe and effective freckles treatment. However, there are some details you should know first.
Freckles, or ephelides, are tiny spots of extra pigment under the skin. They most often appear on areas of the body exposed to the sun, including the face, chest, arms, and legs. Most people first develop freckles within the first few years of life, but this can vary. These spots are most common in people with fair skin or red hair.
If your freckles appeared during childhood or adolescence, you likely have genetic freckles. These don’t require medical treatment. However, some people may develop freckles later in life due to sun exposure. These types of freckles are called solar lentigines, but you may know them as sun, age, or liver spots. Since these are a sign of sun damage, it’s important for people with solar lentigines to see their dermatologist for skin cancer screenings.
Even if your freckles are harmless to your health, you may still want to get rid of them. But can you remove freckles? The answer is tricky. While you might not be able to remove your freckles completely, your dermatologist can recommend a few treatments to fade your freckles over time. Different types of freckles may require different treatments.
To fade your freckles, your dermatologist may recommend:
Laser Therapy: Effective for many pigmentation irregularities, laser therapy can zap away freckles as well. The lasers can fade the extra pigmentation, boost collagen production, and resurface the skin with new cells. Most clients require several rounds of treatment.
Chemical Peels: A chemical peel involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, which causes the outer layer to shed off and reveals new skin underneath. Your dermatologist may recommend a deep chemical peel to fade your freckles.
Topical Creams: Topical products like retinoids can help reduce the appearance of sun-damaged skin. There are also products available to fade freckles and other pigmentation issues. However, always talk to your dermatologist before using an over-the-counter skin product.
Cryosurgery: Cryosurgery, or cryotherapy, works by freezing and destroying abnormal skin cells. Dermatologists may recommend this treatment to eliminate the cells that cause freckles.
Always contact a dermatologist about freckle removal before you try any over-the-counter product or natural remedy. Professional dermatology treatments can address your skin concern safely and with minimal side effects. Many people with freckles have perfectly healthy skin, and professional treatments will help you avoid unwanted damage.
Freckles are different from moles and other types of skin spots. If you notice a new spot on your skin or an existing spot that appears to be changing, be sure to call your dermatologist. They will examine your skin for signs of skin cancer and perform any necessary tests.
If you want to fade your freckles this year, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can help. Located in Whittier, CA, and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, our experts offer cosmetic dermatology treatments to address a variety of skin concerns. We also provide medical and surgical services to support your skin health. Contact us today to book an appointment at a location near you.