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The Blog How Do You Get Rid of Freckles? Contour Clinics Guide

Most freckles are benign; they don’t pose any health hazard, but many people simply want to remove them in a bid to attain clear, glowing, even-toned skin. 

Depending on the formation of your freckles, you may find that they mar your appearance by causing a darkening or dulling effect, inhibiting the brightness of your complexion. Quite often they can make you look sun damaged and older than you are. 

Not friends with your freckles? Prefer to nix them in favour of a uniform complexion? 

That cosmetic choice is every individual’s prerogative, and fortunately, you have the option to remove your freckles thanks to advanced dermal laser treatments designed specifically for the fading and removal of excess pigmentation. 

Here we’ll delve deeper into the occurrence of freckles; who gets them and why; and most importantly, how to get rid of freckles permanently. 

How do Freckles Work and Can You Get Rid of Them?

Freckles are a surplus of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the substance naturally found in your skin that causes it to tan or darken. When there is an overproduction of melanin, it can cause hyperpigmentation in the form of various blemishes, including brown spots, sun spots, melasma, and of course, freckling.

You can recognise freckles as flat spots on the skin – they are not raised or textured – and they can vary in colour, size, quantity and pigment intensity. 

There are two types of freckles: ephelides and solar lentigines. They’re both flat, but they have different appearances and causes. 

Ephelides are the genetic kind of freckles; they first show up when you’re around 2–3 years old and it’s usually after you’ve been having sun exposure. 

Genetics play a large role in a person’s likelihood of developing freckles. If you are part of the approximate 2% of the world’s population with naturally red hair, you are especially likely to get freckles. This is because they are caused by a genetic variant of the MC1R gene that also gives you red hair. 

You don’t have to have a certain hair or skin colour to have freckles, though. The MC1R gene variant is more common in Caucasian and Asian people, but it is possible for any ethnicity to have this variant, and therefore get freckles. 

These genetic freckles commonly appear on the arms, chest, face and neck. Usually 1–2mm or bigger, they are characterised by their irregular, undefined borders and they can be red, dark brown or light brown. They can vary in intensity, too; some are quite pale or translucent looking, while others can look darker and more opaque. 

These freckles can naturally go away as you age, or you may find they fade during the winter when you’re not exposed to the sun so much. 

Solar lentigines are sometimes called age spots or liver spots and this type of freckling can become more prominent as you get older; they’re quite common if you’re aged 50 or older. However, many young people can have these freckles begin to appear as early as their twenties or thirties if they are consistently in the sun without UV protection. 

These freckles can form anywhere on your body that gets sun exposure, such as your chest, shoulders, forearms, shins and hands, as well as your face. You’ll probably find they don’t disappear on their own and are there to stay unless treated. 

Solar lentigines can range from light yellow to dark brown in colour and they tend to have clear, defined borders. These are the freckles that come about due to sun exposure and ageing. 

Importantly, no type of freckle is the same thing as a mole. Freckles are flat, non-raised blotches of pigment that show up on the skin as brown spots. Moles, however, are notably raised lesions and they can pose serious health threats if malignant. It’s crucial to have moles checked by a GP. 

While dermal laser treatment is effective for fading or removing clusters of hyperpigmentation – that is, get rid of freckles – moles are a different thing altogether and their removal requires an entirely different approach.

Here at Contour Clinics, we are experts in scarless mole removal and offer this treatment in-clinic to get rid of moles, lesions and skin tags. You can find out about mole removal here. 


Can You Get Rid of Freckles Permanently?

While some topical treatments can help to inhibit further freckling from developing, the only hard and fast way to rid your complexion of freckling is to treat it beneath surface level. 

This means laser therapy, using a specific type of laser designed to target pigmentation irregularities. The laser shatters and destroys the pigment, and the body then rids this broken-down pigment naturally through the lymphatic system like any other toxin. 

The result is a newly clear complexion with significant fading of hyperpigmentation, and in some cases, freckling is eradicated altogether. 

Can you make freckles go away forever, though? 

It’s good news for the unhappily speckled; the answer is yes! You can treat existing freckles to remove them, and even make them vanish entirely. 

However, it’s important to note that while you have made those freckles disappear, there is no way to stop the possibility of new ones from appearing later. You can help to prevent or minimise freckles though, by following protective precautions for your skin such as daily use of sunscreen and avoiding UV exposure. 

Every case of freckles is unique. So, for some people, they may find their freckles can be significantly faded but not eradicated, while others are successful in achieving total removal of their freckling. It’s also possible to achieve a combination of both in different zones. 

How Freckles Impact Your Appearance

There is no reason why you need to remove freckles for any health-related concern but it’s a common niggle for people to have a complexion that may appear mottled or blotchy due to their freckling. 

Unless you are blessed with a daintily sparse sprinkling of cute freckles not unlike a Disney character, it’s not unusual for freckly people to wish their dark speckles away because of the aesthetic effect they can cause. 

Freckles can be perceived as damaged skin, which translates to ageing. It can also cause an overall darkened or uneven look for the face, with such variation in tone. For many freckle-afflicted women, makeup is a daily must – applying foundation and concealer camouflages their freckles to achieve a desirably smooth, uniform complexion and even skin tone. 

When freckling occurs on the body, it can let down an otherwise youthful appearance. Freckles on the chest is associated with ageing and sun damage, and it can distract from otherwise clear, even-toned skin. If the freckling is severe, it can even inhibit people from exposing those body areas with the clothes they wear. 

Likewise, freckles on the arms and legs are common in older people, and so people of all ages want to rid their body areas of these ageing freckles to rejuvenate their appearance and reattain their youthfully blemish-free limbs. 

How to Fade or Remove Freckles

There is a big wide world of skincare products out there claiming to lighten, brighten and do away with dark spots in your skin. These can certainly help to fade the appearance of excess pigment or freckling, but rarely do they remove them entirely. 

The best way to permanently and significantly reduce or remove freckles is by professional application of dermal laser in-clinic by a medical professional who is specifically trained and qualified in skin and laser treatments. Fortunately, we are highly experienced in Laser Freckle Removal at Contour Clinics, with treatment usually delivered in a series of sessions. 

There are products you can use at home to minimise your pigmentation, and this can be in the form of preparing your skin in anticipation of your in-clinic pigmentation removal treatment, as well as aftercare following your appointments. 

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: sunscreen! This is an absolute must for anyone prone to freckling, and it’s essential for during and after you have your course of laser treatment sessions. Without proper UV protection in the form of physical sunscreen every day, all your hard work could be wasted time and money. 

As far as removing any type of pigmentation goes, this isn’t possible without the use of in-clinic laser pigmentation treatment. Over-the-counter topical treatments can help with fading the intensity of freckles, but they will not serve as a standalone solution. 

Before laser treatment for freckles, we recommend that patients apply a specially formulated serum daily for four weeks leading up to their first appointment. This product is called a melanin inhibitor, and it helps prevent future pigmentation from developing by stopping melanin from being overproduced. This is important so that when you start your laser sessions, there is a lowered risk of the skin being triggered into producing more pigment. 

At Contour Clinics, we recommend Aspect Dr Complete Pigment Plus, which contains Tranexamic Acid and Tyrostat-11 to help brighten and lighten existing freckles, whilst keeping pigment under control to prevent new freckles from popping up. 

While we’d all love a magic cream that erases freckles and hyperpigmentation from the surface, the issue of permanent removal lies further beneath the outer layer of skin. 

Freckles must be treated at a deeper level, where the pigment for these spots is made. 

It takes in-clinic laser treatment to penetrate far enough to treat the underlying cause of the discolouration that shows on the top level of the skin. This is the only effective way to get rid of freckles permanently. 

How Does Laser Freckle Removal Work?

For laser freckle removal, we recommend the use of a pigment inhibitor for at least four weeks in the lead up to commencing your course of treatment sessions. 

This is a medical-grade skincare product that can be purchased in any of our clinics – we recommend Aspect Dr Complete Pigment Plus to our patients. It works to prevent any further hyperpigmentation from developing, and most importantly, it works to control the overproduction of melanin that caused the freckling. 

The amount of treatment sessions you’ll need will vary from person to person. As a rough guide, we generally recommended at least three sessions, spaced 4–6 weeks apart. During your consultation, your Skin & Laser Therapist will assess your unique case of freckling and will provide an idea of the expected treatment timeframe. 

We commonly see patients who are not sure which category their pigmentation falls into; is it freckling, is it sun damage or is it melasma? Proper assessment and diagnosis by one of our dermal experts will ascertain which course and method of treatment is suitable for achieving your desired results. 

So, what you really want to know is, what happens in the treatment? What experience should you expect from this procedure? 

You’ll be pleased to know that freckle removal is an incredibly common and perfected treatment for us here at Contour Clinics, and you will not experience pain or have any downtime. 

For your freckle removal treatment, your Skin & Laser Therapist will cleanse and prep your skin before applying targeted use of laser on the treatment areas. The feeling of this laser is a very tolerable sensation and pain relief is not necessary. The treatment duration is usually around 30 minutes, with the laser part usually taking about 15 minutes. 

Laser freckle removal is a very comfortable, easy-to-endure treatment that our patients find very easy and straightforward to receive. After the laser has been passed over the treatment areas of your face, your Skin & Laser Therapist will apply skincare appropriate to your skin concern, and a physical sunscreen, as laser-treated skin is more vulnerable to UV exposure. 

For the entire duration of your course of treatment sessions, you will be directed to diligently apply sunscreen and your pigment inhibitor product. It will also be highly recommended that you continue use of your sunscreen after treatment has been completed, to help maintain your results.

Tired of Freckles? Get them Removed Professionally with Contour Clinics

You can find our Laser Freckle Removal treatment at any one of our Contour Clinics locations; Newtown, Castle Hill, Five Dock, and Miranda in Sydney, as well as Stones Corner in Brisbane. 

Each of our clinics uses a variation of the laser technology used for removing this type of pigment but they are of the same quality and standard of efficacy. 

Our team of Skin and Laser Therapists are all deeply knowledgeable on the types of lasers required for all forms of hyperpigmentation, and how each should be treated for best results. Laser treatments for freckle removal are performed every day in all our clinic locations by clinicians who are extremely experienced experts who achieve outstanding results for our patients. 

Contact our friendly patient care team to book a consultation with one of our expert Skin & Laser Therapists. 

Your consultation appointment is complimentary and is obligation-free. Here we can assess your skin and your concerns, to devise an effective treatment plan tailored just to you.

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