Freckles and dark spots on your face are the result of sun exposure. Also called age spots, they occur when production of melanin, which is the dark pigment of your skin, is accelerated by ultraviolet light. Most of the time they are harmless, but you may want to remove them for cosmetic reasons. According to MayoClinic.com, you should consult your doctor or dermatologist if your dark spots change in appearance, since this could indicate a form of skin cancer called melanoma. A freckle should also be examined by a doctor is if it has an irregular border, is very dark or has a combination of colors.
Test your skin for sensitivity to a hydroquinone cream. Apply it to an area of your skin that has hyperpigmentation. Remove the cream and wait 24 hours. If you don’t experience a rash or redness, it is fine to apply it anywhere you want to remove freckles. Hydroquinone is a chemical that decreases the production of melanosomes, which are the melanin pigment granules. MayoClinic.com recommends hydroquinone as a treatment for removing dark spots from the skin.
Cleanse your skin with warm water and a gentle antimicrobial soap. Rinse and pat dry.
Apply a thin layer of hydroquinone to the skin twice per day, once in the morning and before your bedtime. It is important to rub the hydroquinone cream into your skin only in the places you are treating freckles as hydroquinone will lighten normal skin as well.
Repeat your hydroquinone cream application everyday. You should expect results within a few months.
You can purchase hydroquinone creams at your local pharmacy.
Use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure while you are on your hydroquinone treatment and in general to prevent further sun damage on your skin. Hats work well too to keep the sun off your face if you don’t have access to sunscreen.
Other treatments to remove dark spots from your skin include laser therapy, cryotherapy, which is when your dermatologist freezes the affected areas of your skin with liquid nitrogen, dermabrasion and chemical peels. Be aware that if you are removing freckles and sun spots for cosmetic reasons, your insurance may not cover the cost of your treatment.
Avoid applying hydroquinone cream on sensitive areas of your skin such as around your eyes and mouth.
Terminate your hydroquinone treatment if you experience any signs of redness or irritation in your skin.
Ana Cassis began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in the magazines "Cancunissimo," "Mesa Visions" and in online heath publications. Cassis is a nutrition counselor and herbalist with experience in fitness, nutrition and yoga. She holds an Associate of Arts in architecture from San Diego Mesa College.