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Ask A Skin Doctor: Leg Freckles

Dear Doctor

I’ve always had freckles on my face, but I never had freckles on my arms or legs. In July of 2013, I went on a cruise and got very bad sun poisoning. I now have tons of freckles on the top of my arms and all over my legs.

Is there any way to get rid of the freckles?

My main concern are the ones on my legs, because they look so obvious. You can even see where the poisoning occurred because the sun seemed to permanently bleach this part of my leg a whiter skin tone that the back of my legs which were not affected. I would really love to eliminate these freckles. Thank You!

leg freckles

Dear Patient  

The At Home Treatment for Freckles, which are also known as Ephelides, includes the use of:

1. Sunscreens

Broad spectrum sunscreens that offer protection from UVA and UVB rays and that have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 should be used every day.

Protective clothing with long sleeves and slacks that cover the legs should be worn when out in the sun together with wide brimmed sun hats and UV 400 sunglasses.

Sun avoidance should also be encouraged to minimize sun exposure especially when the sun is brightest which is usually from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

2. Skin Brighteners

Skin brighteners or skin lighteners can be used to lighten the hyperpigmented patches. Examples of skin brighteners that are used include:

  1. Kojic acid which is found in products like LumiEssence Organic Brightening Treatment.
  2. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid which is found in products like Olay Total Effects tone correcting night moisturizer and LumiEssence Organic Brightening Treatment. It is also found in in Palmer’s Skin Success Fade Cream which also contains 2% Hydroquinone.

 

3. Mild Chemical Peels

Mild or superficial chemical peels like glycolic acid (AHA) peels can also be used. It is found in the Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener which also contains 2% Hydroquinone.

 

4. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a skin bleach which reduces melanin formation by interfering with the activity of the enzyme known as tyrosinase.

Hydroquinone is available over the counter at concentrations of 1% and 2% in products like Ambi Fade Cream with 2% hydroquinone.

2% Hydroquinone is also found in the Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener which also contains 10% Glycolic acid.

2% Hydroquinone is also found in Palmer’s Skin Success Fade Cream which also contains vitamin C.

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