Freckles and spots removal
To remove freckles and spots, it is often necessary to perform multiple treatments, and a combination of different treatments to achieve good results. Not every type of skin will react equally to spot removal treatments and so they must be individually adapted to each patient.
Considering the fact that we can’t change our genetic predispositions for the occurrence of freckles, the main preventive measures must be directed to the avoidance of and protection from the Sun, including the use of creams with protection factors of at least SPF 30+.
Possible ways of freckle and spot removal from skin
Freckle and spot removal with laser treatments
Various types of lasers can reduce and remove completely different forms of freckles and spots. The longevity of the treatment effects depends on the type of laser and the type of pigmentation that is being removed. Latest generation of lasers is constructed to remove pigment which is found in the third layer of the skin. Laser removes pigment without any skin damage and it is a therapy of choice for age spots, Sun spots and all localized deep pigmentations.
In our office, the treatments carried out on the most modern devices Syneron-CANDELA manufacturer, model Alex TriVantage (Q-switched alexandrite laser, 532nm, 755nm, 1064nm), that allows that without damaging the surface of the skin to fully eliminate the pigmentation of the skin depth.
Chemical peels are an efficient method of removing freckles and spots from the skin. The most efficient are TCA- trichlor vinegar acid treatments. The treatment is intensively applied on the areas with freckles and then the whole surface of the skin is uniformly covered and so the effect to improve the skin texture and mitigate or completely remove freckles is achieved. Considering how the acid influences the melanocytes (pigment creating cells) themselves, the effect is long-lasting, and after the first sunbathing there isn’t a complete regression of the pigment. More about chemical peels read here.
Radio wave abrasion
Radio wave abrasion is a very efficient method of removal, as is the abrasive CO2 laser. However, a big flaw of these procedures is the permanent damage to the pigment that later leaves the treated area with less pigment.
Each of the aforementioned methods is followed by a period of recovery after the procedure. Freckles and spots in the skin become darker with exposure to the laser beam, peeling or radio waves. After 24h from the intervention a thin crust is formed and in the following 4 days the freckles flake. The recovery period usually lasts up to 7 days. After the radio waves or CO2 laser treatments the redness can last up to 3 months.
Whitening creams for freckles and spots
Products which contain hydrochinon and Kojic acids can be used for spot whitening. Concentrations of hydrochinon in excess of 2% must be used strictly under medical supervision. These products can lead to spot lightening if used continually for eight weeks.Protection form sunlight is necessary during and after the therapy.
Retinoids are used together with other whitening creams or individually as tretinoin, tazarotene or adapalene cream. Retinoid creams lead to freckle and spot reduction if used continually for several months.
Freezing of freckles and spots with liquid nitrogen is used to treat only some of their types. However, not all forms of freckles and spots respond well to liquid nitrogen therapy and one of its side effects can be precisely the increased pigmentation in the area of application.
Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade, Serbia