How to Fade Freckles

Face with freckles
Q: What should I use to fade my freckles?
A: What you use is a decision best made by you and your doctor. Freckles are caused by sun exposure (which stimulates melanin production). They form when the sun stimulates the melanocytes and the melanin production is uneven.
Because they are effectively “sun damaged skin”, you need to consult a physician for proper treatment and to ensure that there isn’t any more serious link to the freckling.
Your dermatologist can offer a number of treatment options:
Bleaching creams - Products containing hydroquinone and kojic acid can be purchased without a prescription. Higher concentrations of hydroquinone (over 2%) require a prescription. These products can lighten freckles if they are applied consistently over a period of months.
Tretinoin - Sometimes used in conjunction with other bleaching creams tretinoin (vitamin A acid, Retin-A) also helps to make freckles lighter when applied over a period of time.
Cryosurgery - A light freeze with liquid nitrogen can be used to treat freckles.
Laser treatment - Several lasers, especially ones that produce a green light, can lighten and eliminate freckles safely and effectively. Like cryosurgery, this is a simple and safe procedure with a high success rate and a low risk of scarring.
Photo: Ozrimoz/Shutterstock
See also:
How to hide freckles
Pigment marks on the skin