How To Get Rid Of Dark Skin Spots

Dermatologists have several options to treat and remove dark spots on skin. From prescriptions for a topical cream to in-office procedures, the following is a quick download on the best options.

Topic Treatments  

There is no topical treatment more effective than hydroquinone, when it comes to removing dark spots from the skin. Many studies have shown that it works to bleach brown spots from the skin. Hydroquinone halts the cells that produce melanin and inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme found in our skin that controls the production of melanin. Hydroquinone in prescription form is hands down the best way to topically treat the skin. Dermatologists can offer guidance for using any hydroquinone product, since it can be powerful and is not suitable for some skin types. There is some controversy surrounding hydroquinone, but when used under the direction of a dermatologist, it can be a safe and very effective treatment for dark spots.
Downtime: None


Many beauty fanatics love microdermabrasion (microderm, for short) treatments, as they can be relaxing and spa-like. During a microdermabrasion session, a skin specialist will gently remove your top layer of skin using a specialized tool that exfoliates the top layer of skin, removing sun spots, discoloration and some acne scars. Microdermabrasion also helps promote the growth of new collagen. It’s one of those plastic surgery alternatives that gives the skin a glowing boost with virtually no commitment. It’s also painless!
Downtime: Expect slight redness on the skin for about 24 hours after the procedure.

Chemical Peels

An in-office chemical peel can be an excellent way to send your dark spots packing. A chemical peeling agent is applied to the skin for about 10 minutes and then its removed. Depending on your skin type and the level of peeling recommended for your skin issues, the peeling agent could contain an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid, such as lactic acid, salicylic acid or glycolic acid) or a deeper level peeling agent such as TCA (trichloroacetic acid).
Downtime: Expect the skin to be red and peeling for about 1-3 weeks post procedure. You will also need to avoid sun exposure as the skin is peeling, as the skin will have increased photosensitivity.

Intense Pulsed Light

IPL is one of the few treatments that can really target just the sun spots on your face. Many dermatologists think of IPL as the gold standard in sun spot removal. A series of light-energy pulses targets unwanted sun spots, effectively removing them.
Downtime: Initial redness for a few hours, followed by darkening of pigmented areas that will eventually flake off the skin about one week later.

Fraxel Laser

The mother of all laser treatments, Fraxel has the ability to completely transform the skin. Sun spots are removed, as well as any overall skin pigmentation issues. Fraxel is also able to turn the clock back by regenerating collagen growth.
Downtime: Immediately following treatment, the skin will be red and swollen. You should plan on taking a day or two out or your schedule to let the skin calm down. After that, expect about a week of skin that looks slightly bronzed and might feel tight and and rough.

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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