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Freckles are small brown spots of pigmentation that appear on the skin’s surface due to sun exposure. Often brown, tan, or black in appearance, freckles form when overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays causes pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, to overproduce melanin. Freckles are most common in patients with lighter skin types and will often develop in childhood and fade over time. However, freckles, also known as lentigines and sunspots, also known as solar keratosis, can appear in adulthood and are typically a sign of sun-damaged skin. While freckles are benign, meaning they are not a sign or symptom of skin cancer, patients may find that they wish to remove their freckles for cosmetic reasons. If you are looking to reduce the appearance of freckles or other signs of sun damage, expert, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green can help.

There are many effective treatment options for freckle removal, particularly laser therapy, that are available at Dr. Green’s New York City dermatology office, including the Fraxel laser, ND:Yag laser, Clear + Brilliant laser, and Pico laser. Each laser treatment option works slightly differently, emitting a wavelength of laser energy that shatters pigmentation, promoting collagen production and skin cell turnover for full skin rejuvenation. When it comes to treatment of freckles, Dr. Green will often turn to Intense Pulsed Light, also known as IPL treatment, which employs multiple wavelengths of light to eliminate freckles and other forms of hyperpigmentation, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and improve skin tone and texture. Chemical peels can also be used to exfoliate the skin, effectively treating new freckles, acne scars, active acne lesions, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin texture. Dr. Green always advises patients to apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every morning to help prevent sun damage and the appearance of new freckles and liver spots.

Experienced board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green has been expertly treating patients in her Upper East Side New York City dermatology office for more than 25 years. Dr. Green is a master at treating many skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation like freckles and sun spots, rosacea, melasma, and pre-cancerous growths. An expert in all forms of anti-aging treatment, Dr. Green is highly adept at providing patients with a naturally youthful appearance, using such therapies as laser treatment, chemical peels, microneedling, and injectable treatments like Botox and dermal fillers. With her line of proprietary skincare products, MGSKINLABs, Dr. Green is also an expert in creating individualized skincare routines to address each patient’s unique concerns. Well-known for high patient satisfaction, Dr. Green has been voted one of New York City’s best healthcare providers by such publications as New York Magazine, Super Doctors, and Castle Connolly.

What is laser treatment for pigment removal?

There are many different kinds of laser treatment options for pigment and freckle removal, including fractional lasers like Fraxel and the Clear + Brilliant laser, picosecond lasers, and q-switched lasers like ND:Yag. While the exact mechanism of action differs from laser to laser, the general principle is similar: laser energy is emitted at the treatment area, which is absorbed by the pigment cells, causing them to rupture. This reduces the appearance of freckles and other forms of hyperpigmentation and triggers the production of collagen for smooth, evenly-toned skin. Dr. Green will choose the safest, most effective laser treatment for you based on your aesthetic goals and skin type.

51 year old Cosmelan, 6 months

Skincare for preventing sunspots and freckles

Freckles, also known as lentigines, and sun spots, also known as age spots, liver spots, or solar keratosis, form on the skin’s surface due to prolonged, unprotected sun exposure and are most common in patients with lighter skin types. The sun’s UV rays can damage the skin’s DNA, and so to prevent sun damage, the body will produce more of the pigment melanin. Often, melanin production in response to sun exposure is uneven, resulting in darker patches of skin, known as sun spots, or small brown spots, known as freckles. As such, the best way to prevent the formation of freckles and sunspots in the first place is always to apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Dr. Green recommends using sunscreen daily as a regular part of your morning skincare routine – even in the winter months! – and reapplying every two hours that you spend outside.

To reduce the appearance of new or pre-existing freckles, Dr. Green may recommend the use of a topical retinoid. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and can be used primarily for skin lightening to eliminate hyperpigmentation. Retinoids trigger the production of collagen, which boosts skin cell turnover and helps to brighten and lighten the skin. Some patients experience mild side effects when using topical retinoids, including redness and irritation in the treatment area. The best way to start treatment with a topical solution, such as a retinoid cream, is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Green, who can prescribe the product that will be safest and most effective for you.

Can you laser off freckles?

Laser treatment is an effective way to reduce the appearance of freckles without the risk of significant side effects or the need for downtime. There are several types of laser therapy options, including the Q-switched laser, fractional laser, and picosecond laser, which can be used to reduce the appearance of pigmentation in the skin. These treatment options emit laser energy that targets pigmented cells, shattering the pigment and boosting collagen production for brighter, rejuvenated skin. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will examine the treatment area and discuss your aesthetic goals to determine the type of laser that will be most effective for you.

What is IPL (intense pulsed light) freckle removal?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is similar to laser therapy. Still, it differs in that it emits multiple wavelengths of light to treat a variety of skin conditions, including freckles, hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines, and uneven skin tone and texture. When applied to the skin, the IPL device emits a flash of light, which penetrates the dermal layer of the skin to dispel pigmentation in the treatment area. The light targets the melanin-rich cells, where the laser energy is transformed into heat, which shatters the pigmented cells. This, in turn, triggers the production of collagen, providing patients with smooth, clear, lightened skin. IPL also differs from other forms of laser resurfacing in that it is a much more gentle procedure, providing minimal discomfort and requiring no downtime following the treatment. Most patients report that the application and firing of the IPL device feel like a rubberband gently snapping against the skin. No recovery time is necessary after the treatment, and patients can immediately return to their regularly scheduled activities. IPL is best for patients with lighter skin tones. For patients with darker skin tones, Dr. Green typically recommends the Clear + Brilliant laser.

55 year old, AlexTrivantage for Sunspots

Chemical peels for freckle removal treatment

Chemical peels are a treatment option in which an acidic solution is applied to the skin’s surface to exfoliate the skin, resulting in increased skin cell turnover for clearer, brighter, smoother skin. Several different types of chemical peels can be used to address many skin conditions, including freckles, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts, acne scars, uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and pre-cancerous lesions. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the most common type of chemical peel for removing freckles is a medium-depth peel trichloroacetic peel. While a medium-depth peel will provide patients with more dramatic results, there is slightly more recovery time necessary following the treatment, which is why Dr. Green will sometimes turn to a gentler chemical peel, such as a glycolic acid peel or lactic acid peel. For some patients, a Jessner peel or Cosmelan peel will be the best option for reducing the appearance of freckles. With many options to choose from, it is essential to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, who will determine the chemical peel that is safest and most effective for your condition and skin type.

How does laser freckle removal work?

Freckles form on the skin when there is an overproduction of melanin due to unprotected sun exposure. Laser freckle removal works to destroy the pigmented spots on the skin while promoting skin cell turnover for lighter, smoother skin. Freckles appear most commonly on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, decolletage, and hands. When the laser is applied to the treatment area, the laser energy emitted destroys the pigmentation, triggering the production of collagen for clearer skin.

The treatment process for freckle removal will begin with an initial consultation with Dr. Green, who will examine the treatment area and discuss your aesthetic goals before determining the treatment plan that will be best for you. When you arrive in the office for treatment, Dr. Green may begin by applying a topical numbing cream to decrease the risk of any discomfort during the laser treatment. The procedure for laser therapy is typically quick and relatively painless, allowing patients to return to their regularly scheduled activities immediately. For the best results, patients may need to schedule multiple treatment sessions.

Which laser removes freckles?

Several different types of lasers can be used to remove freckles, including the ND:Yag q-switched laser, the Fraxel fractional laser, a picosecond laser, and the Clear + Brilliant fractional laser.

ND:Yag is a q-switched laser that shatters pigmented cells without damaging any of the surrounding tissue by emitting short, quick pulses of laser light energy. The destroyed pigmented cells are then absorbed by the body, eliminating hyperpigmentation, such as freckles, on the skin’s surface. In addition to removing freckles, the ND:Yag q-switched laser can also soften fine lines, reduce the appearance of acne scars, and improve skin texture and tone.

Fraxel is a fractional laser that uses non-ablative laser emissions to eliminate freckles, sun spots, and acne scars. The columns of laser energy target the treatment area with extreme precision, treating only a fraction of the skin at a time for full skin resurfacing. The results of the Fraxel laser treatment can be seen within several days of receiving treatment but will continue to improve over time.

Picosecond lasers use ultra-short bursts of laser energy lasting only a trillionth of a second to target pigmentation on the skin’s surface—the pulses of light target precise areas of the skin, shattering pigmentation without damaging the surrounding tissue. The picosecond laser is gentler than other laser treatment options and requires no downtime following the treatment but may require multiple sessions for optimal results.

Clear + Brilliant is a gentler fractional laser that is able to treat lighter freckles with very minimal discomfort during the procedure. In fact, the Clear + Brilliant laser is known for being one of the most comfortable laser treatment options for treating hyperpigmentation. The Clear + Brilliant laser is also safe to use for patients with darker skin tones.

64 year old female before and after 1 Cosmelan treatment - 3 months

Does laser hair removal remove freckles?

Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment found in hair follicles. When the pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the laser energy, the energy is converted into heat, which destroys the hair follicle completely without damaging the surrounding tissue. For laser hair removal, Dr. Green will most frequently turn to IPL or the GentleYAG laser, which is a gentle laser that uses a 1064nm wavelength of light. While IPL can be used for both the removal of freckles and laser hair removal, they require different wavelengths of light, so laser hair removal may not be the best treatment option for removing freckles.

Can laser hair removal cause freckles?

Laser hair removal does not cause new freckles to form in the treatment area. Some patients may experience the darkening of existing freckles in the laser hair removal treatment area, but typically, the pigmentation fades several weeks after treatment.

How much is laser freckle removal?

The cost of laser freckle removal will depend on several factors, including the type of laser used, the size and scope of the treatment area, the type of institution at which you receive treatment, and your geographic location. After your initial consultation, Dr. Green will generate the treatment plan that will be most effective for you, determining the type of laser that will be used for your treatment. Once your treatment plan has been established, Dr. Green’s office can give you a better estimate of the total cost of treatment. Seeking treatment from an expert, board-certified dermatologist may be more expensive than receiving laser freckle removal at a Medical Spa. However, the risk of developing side effects, such as hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, increases when you receive treatment from a less experienced practitioner, which is why it is essential to seek treatment from an expert like Dr. Green.

Is laser treatment for freckles safe?

Laser treatment for freckles is a safe and effective treatment option when you seek treatment from an expert, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green. There are very few side effects associated with laser treatment, including redness, skin irritation, and inflammation. These side effects are typically mild and will resolve within a few days of receiving treatment. Some types of laser treatment can be dangerous for patients with darker skin tones, resulting in scarring, hyperpigmentation (the formation of dark spots on the skin), or hypopigmentation (the appearance of white spots on the skin). Dr. Green is an expert in treating patients of all skin tones and skin types and knows the treatment options that are safe for all.

RL 74yo male before and after ED AlexTrivantage and Fraxel LEFT MGWatermark

Does laser freckle removal hurt?

Laser freckle removal is a relatively painless procedure that involves no downtime following treatment. During the process itself, Dr. Green may apply a topical numbing cream to reduce any potential discomfort. Some lasers, such as the ND:Yag q-switched laser, have built-in contact cooling to keep the surrounding tissue cool during the procedure. There is little to no recovery time necessary for laser freckle removal, and any side effects associated with the treatment are mild.

Is laser freckle removal permanent?

Laser freckle removal works by shattering the pigmentation cells, causing them to be destroyed and absorbed by the body. Once those particles are destroyed, they are permanently gone. However, freckles form due to unprotected sun exposure and can form again if proper skin protection is not performed on a daily basis. That is why Dr. Green recommends the application of sunscreen every morning to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

How to get started with laser freckle removal treatment today

Freckles are small brown spots that form on the skin’s surface due to unprotected sun exposure. While freckles are benign and do not need to be removed for medical reasons, some patients find they do not like the appearance of freckles, which form most commonly on the face, decolletage, shoulders, and hands. Luckily, there are many treatment options available for freckle removal treatment, including laser therapy, intense pulsed light therapy, and chemical peels. Laser freckle removal works via the emission of laser energy to shatter pigmented cells in the treatment area, providing patients with clearer, lighter, smoother skin for an overall rejuvenated appearance. With so many treatment options available, it is best to consult with an expert, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green.

Dr. Green is a highly respected New York City dermatologist whose work with patients has been recognized in publications such as New York Magazine and Super Doctors. An expert in treating patients of all skin types and skin tones, Dr. Green is a master at creating individualized treatment plans to meet each patient’s aesthetic goals. Whether you are looking to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, or other signs of the natural aging process, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin, Dr. Green has the solution for you. If you are looking for the best treatment in New York for the elimination of freckles, please call our office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online to develop your customized treatment plan with Dr. Green today.

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