Best Treatments for Dark Spots Removal

Lady getting treatment for the removal of dark spots

Dermatologists have several options, from prescriptions for topical creams to in-office procedures for dark spots removal. Here is a list of the best treatments available for removing dark spots, age spots and sun spots.

Topical Treatments

When removing dark spots from the skin, no topical treatment is more effective than hydroquinone. Many studies have shown that it works to bleach brown spots from the skin.

Hydroquinone halts the cells that produce melanin and inhibits the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme found in our skin that controls melanin production.

Hydroquinone in prescription form is the best way to treat the skin topically.

It is important to consult a dermatologist on the use of a hydroquinone product since it can be quite strong 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 effective treatment for dark spots

Downtime: None


Many beauty fanatics love microdermabrasion (or microderm, for short) treatments, as they can be relaxing and spa-like.

During a microdermabrasion session, your 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 plastic surgery alternative that gives the skin a glowing boost with virtually no commitment.

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. During the treatment, a chemical peeling agent is applied to the skin for about 10 minutes and then 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 after the procedure. You will also need to avoid sun exposure while your skin is peeling because it will have increased photosensitivity.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is one of the few treatments that can target just the sun spots on your face. Many dermatologists think of IPL as the gold standard in sun spot removal.

During the treatment, a series of light-energy pulses target unwanted sun spots, effectively removing them.

Downtime: Initial redness for a few hours, followed by the darkening of pigmented areas that will eventually flake off the skin about one week later.

Fraxel Laser

The mother of all laser treatments, the Fraxel laser can completely transform the skin. Sunspots are removed, and other skin pigmentation issues are all resolved in one go.

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 of your schedule to let the skin calm down.

After that, expect about a week where the skin looks slightly bronzed and might feel tight and rough.

Are you considering treatment for dark skin spots?

We can help! Schedule a consultation with one of our dermatology providers for a comprehensive skin examination and expert advice on treating dark skin spots.

Call Schweiger Dermatology Group at (844) DERM-DOC to schedule a consultation today. To find a location near you, check out our location pages.

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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