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How to get rid of dark spot on face? (photo)

Skin, Hair & Nails Aesthetic Medicine

Hi I've had this dark spot on my face for around 1 year. It has darkened gradually. It is quite prominent even after I put makeup on. When it first appeared, I was worried and I've been putting sunblock on my face when I go out ever since. Is there any way I can remove this spot, for example by lasering it?

How to get rid of dark spot on face? (photo)
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (4)

The circumferential spot on your left cheek appears to be a sun spot. There are several ways of lightening/removing them:

1. Prevention:
- Topical sunscreen: Get those with SPF 30++ and above, with zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide; these provide maximum reflective and absorptive capacities without breaking the bank.
- Oral sun block: Heliocare, for example, adds an additional UV protection
- UV avoidance: Stay away from the sun or tan beds as far as possible

2. Home care:
- Adapalene/retin creams: Reduces pigmentation and increases your skin's health.
- Lightening creams: Hydroquinone-based creams, cysteamine, crystal tomato creams help lighten and prevent worsening
- Oral lightening agents: Safe and effective, brands like crystal tomato capsules help lighten existing pigmentation and protect the body against free radicals induced by UV exposure. It's the final step of protection against UV rays that do manage to penetrate your sun screen

3. Clinical-grade care:
- Lasers: Lasers such as the picosecond lasers effectively lighten and remove these sun spots
- IPL/BBL: Also effectively deal with these sun-induced pigmentation

Do ensure you have a good skin care regimen in place before, while, and after treatment to ensure these spots do not worsen/recur (the possibility though, is always still there).

Cheers and Happy New Year,
Dr Shane Abucewicz Tan

504 views 4 Jan 2019

It would seem from the photo provided that you have what is referred to as solar lentigine or sun spot which is due to UV damage. 

There are several options in terms of treatment 

1. Topical creams/ serums  — the commonly used ones include Vitamin C 10/ 15 % , hydroquinone 4% or in a triple formulation that also includes retin A and a steriod, various combinations of whitening agents like Kojic acid , azelaic acid and the lastest product called cysteamine. However the use of topical agents do have some limitations and sometimes there may not result in complete clearance of the spot.

2. Medical Grade Devices like IPL and pigment specific lasers that include the Q switched lasers and the latest Picosecond laser . In my practice I utilise Cutera Pico Genesis Laser which I find quite effective with minimal risk of PIH ( post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) 

In my opinion you should discuss the pros and cons of the various treatment options with your doctor and make an informed decision . Whatever treatment option you choose you must bear in mind that the sun spot can recur so must have in place a preventive regime that includes a sunblock of SPF 30 or more that can be combined with oral supplements like Crystal Tomato or Heliocare Pure White Radiance . Routine use of topical Vitamin C is also encouraged .

Hope this helps .

476 views 4 Jan 2019

Hi,

Thank you for your question and photo. It appears that you have a solar lentigo a.k.a sun spot on your left cheek. It is a pigmented spot that is due to sun damage.

There are mainly 2 ways of removing/lightening the spot:

1) Topical creams:

Formulations containing hydroquinone and/or tretinoin and a variety of lightening agents such as kojic acid and azelaic acid may be used to lighten solar lentigo. 

However, it usually takes a long time and results vary across individuals. Most of the time, there would not be complete removal of the spot.

2) Lasers/BroadBand Light (BBL) :

As you correctly mentioned, lasers can be used to remove the spot. Q-switched lasers are very effective in clearing such spots. BBL is also effective in dealing with such pigments. There may be darkening of the spot initially after laser or BBL but it will lighten after 1-2 weeks. More than one treatment may be needed to achieve complete or near-complete removal.

Solar lentigo is due to ultraviolet (UV) damage from the sun's rays. Hence, without proper sun protection, solar lentigo can always recur. It is important to use sunblock regularly. Given the strong sunlight we experience in Singapore, a sunblock with SPF 30++ and above is minimal and ideally, re-application is recommended every 2-3 hours. Best case scenario would be to avoid the sunlight as much as possible. 

Hope this would be useful for you.

Best Regards,
Dr. Soh.

228 views 15 Feb 2019

Hi!

This is a lentigene/sun spot. It is on the most sun exposed area of your face so it is caused by sun damage. The sun damage is from years ago but applying sunblock correctly and on a daily basis will help to prevent other pigmentation from appearing.

Sun spots are generally more difficult to remove than freckles because of a higher risk of PIH. We usually combine a vascular laser (IPL or Excel V) with picosure to remove then sun spot and correct the underlying damage due to UV rays. You may need 1-3 sessions depending on the severity.

Keep using the sunblock and double up over the lentigene!!!!

Best regards

Dr Yanni

308 views 23 Jan 2019
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