Freckle Treatments At A Glance
- Best Results1-2 treatments
- Treatment Recovery2-4 days
- Procedure Time30 min
- Skin SpecialistNurse
- Duration of Results6 to 36 months
- Back to Work1-2 days
Brisbane’s super high UV index predisposes the population to freckles. My favoured treatment for freckles is a treatment I call Pulse Fraxel. This combines BBL or IPL with High-Density Fraxel. One treatment will remove 80-95% of freckles, and skin recovers within 5 days.
FactsFacts on freckle solutions
- Freckles are very common and occur in the childhood years
- They may improve in Winter, & worsen in Summer
- Simple skin care after laser can increase duration of results
- The fastest way to remove freckles is with a Pulse Fraxel peel- a combination of both IPL & Fraxel
- Chemical peels, IPL, Pico & lasers can remove freckles
- Freckles can affect the face, chest & arms
What treatment are available for freckles?
Freckles are non-cancerous areas of pigmentation that occur on the face , arms & chest. Unlike other forms of pigmentation such as melasma, freckles are very easy to treat & can be removed with only one laser treatment.
Pigmentation can occur in the deep or superficial layers in your skin. Freckles fortunately lie in the superficial layers, making removal easy. The brown color is due to pigment granules called melanin, made by cells called melanocytes.
What is the best method to remove freckles?
The best way to remove the majority of your freckles in one session is with a procedure called Pulse Fraxel. This treatment can remove up to 90% of freckles within 30 minutes.
Pulse Fraxel works by targeting the melanin or brown granules in the upper layers of your skin. IPL treats the superficial pigment, and Fraxel helps exfoliate this pigment over 3 to 5 days.
Is laser treatment painful?
No. We ensure patient comfort by using a specialist numbing cream called 23/7. This makes both the IPL component & the Fraxel component of Pulse Fraxel painless.
What are other methods to remove freckles?
There are several other ways to remove freckles depending on your skin type, location of freckling & downtime.
IPL or BBL Photorejuvenaton
IPL or intense pulse light has been the mainstay of pigment treatment for the past decade, & can remove freckles effectively. We use this treatment as part of the Pulse Fraxel Laser Peel. (The Pulse bit is IPL.) IPL uses a special filter that ‘targets’ pigmentation that lies on the top areas of the skin.
Stand alone IPL (without Fraxel), requires 2-4 treatment to achieve the same result as Pulse Fraxel. Recovery from IPL is usually 4-7 days.
Q Switch laser toning
This can treat freckles & brown pigmentation in all Ethnic races, including both fair skin patients, as well as Asian & darker skin races. Picosure laser can also be used for stubborn sun spots, age spots as well as freckles.
The event of third-generation pico lasers can improve pigmentation including melasma & freckles. This laser is especially useful in Asian & ethnic skin types. Most patients require 2-3 sessions for optimal results. The great thing about Pico laser is that downtime is less than 12 hours.
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Can freckles be treated with chemical peels?
Yes. Chemical peels can either fade, or remove freckles depending on the strength of peel.
Gentle peels such as Lactic acid, AHA- Glycolic acid, & retinoic acid peels combined with fading creams can fade freckles by 30-50%.
Stronger medium depth TCA Chemical Peels (performed by Dr Davin Lim) can remove 100% of freckles. TCA peels are associated with a downtime of 8 days, and are performed in theatre. Over the past few years, this type of peeling has been largely replaced by the Pulse Fraxel Procedure.
Laser treatment has many advantages over strong chemical peels, namely-
- Laser is less painful than TCA medium depth peels
- Laser is less costly than TCA peels
- Laser is safer than TCA peels
- Laser is associated with a faster healing up time than TCA peels
What will my skin look like after the laser freckle removal?
Day 0-1 Your skin is red following Pulse Fraxel Laser. Redness decrease within 24 hours. You may have some slight swelling that can be prevented with ice.
Day 2-4 This is the peeling period. Painless peeling is required to exfoliate old freckled skin, making way for fresh, young skin cells.
Day 4-5 Recovery, redness and peeling ends and your skin is renewed.
What methods do we use to treat freckles on the chest, shoulders and arms?
Pulse Fraxel laser is still the best for these areas. Why? Because with Fraxel we can use a paintbrush technique to blend in areas. This gives a natural look, without any sharp cut offs.
Individual sun spots can be treated with a Q Switch laser, Pico or IPL. Deeper pigmentation can be treated with fractional erbium or better still CO2 lasers.
Will my freckles return after treatment?
Given Brisbane’s high UV index, freckles usually recur with time. This may take months to years, depending on your level of sun exposure and most importantly sun protection. My nurses & therapists will guide you as the best sunscreen & products to use to minimise recurrence.
The use of simple AHA peels, & Vitamin A peels every 6-8 weeks can also reduce recurrence of freckles.
How much does it cost to remove freckles?
Book in with one of the laser nurses @cliniccutis for an assessment.
Pulse Fraxel Laser (Fraxel & IPL combination treatment): $1290
*Best treatment for Freckles
IPL/Broad Band Light: $350 – $490 per treatment, up to 2 – 3 treatments advised.
Q Switch laser toning: $690 – $790 for 5 sessions
AHA Glycolic acid peels: $98 per peel. 5 – 6 peels advised
Picosure – Pico laser: $440-$790 per session (Nurse)
Does Medicare cover freckle treatments?
No. Treatments for brown spots are not covered under Medicare. This procedure is classed as cosmetic.
Red spots, including facial veins are partially covered under Medicare- as a guide, anything brown is not covered, skin conditions that are red will have a partial Medicare subsidy.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Freckle Treatments
The treatment of freckles has taken a quantum leap forward with the event of Pulse Fractional laser. I learned this technique in the United States in 2011. We use both Fraxel & the replacement LaseMD Ultra as part of the fractional laser bit of the treatment. For IPL we use the Scition BBL. Pulse Fraxel uses the synergy of IPL, & Thulium 1927 in the one session. Treatments are painless, quick, and effective.
Gone are the days where recovery is prolonged, and multiple IPL treatments are needed. Patients recover from Pulse Fraxel within 5 days, and in the majority of cases up to 90% clearance can be achieved.
For freckles in darker skin types, including Asians, I prefer Pico lasers.
Preventing freckles from returning is a challenge in Brisbane, due to the high UV index. The daily use of sunscreen, coupled with maintenance treatment, namely AHA peels, as well as prescription Vitamin A creams can help. For an assessment regarding what is the best procedure for your skin, book an appointment with my clinical staff at Cutis Dermatology.
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