Best Dermatologist Recommended Treatment For Dark Spots On Face

There are many dermatologist spot treatments. Which dark spot treatment to choose depends on the type of dark spot and it's cause. Your skin color and skin type also matter when choosing which medical treatment is best. Dark spots on brown and black skin cannot be treated the same as white skin.

What do dermatologists recommend to treat dark spots? The best treatments performed by doctors depend on the cause of the dark spot. Skin lightening serums and creams may need to be combined with dermatologist spot treatments.

This blog will discuss what treatments dermatologists and other doctors use to treat skin dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation (too much of the skin pigment melanin).

We recommend that you have your dark spots checked by a dermatologist if they are:

  •  raised
  •  rapidly growing
  • changing
  • asymmetrical
  • larger than 1 cm in diameter
  • an unusual color (blue or grey)
  • very dark brown or black
  • feel rough on the surface.

    You can find a board certified physician dermatologist near you at AAD.org.

    We recommend you see a dermatologist because these are signs of either skin cancer or problems that cannot be treated with a spot treatment at home.

types of dark spots that dermatologists treat

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots Fast

The fastest way to remove dark spots is getting a spot treatment from your dermatologist. Dermatologist spot treatments do not get rid of spots overnight, but they are the fastest way to erase them.

These are the types of dark spot treatments that dermatologist use to get rid of dark spots on the face and body fast:

  • Chemical peels
  • Freezing
  • IPL
  • Laser
  • Microneedling
  • Pulsed Light or Diode Light

These are usually combined with skin lightening products or best results.

What types of dark spots do dermatologists treat?

In the United States, “spots” usually means dark spots on the skin.  In the UK, “spots” means acne pimples.  So this blog is not about acne spots, it is about dermatologist spot treatments for brown or black spots on the skin. These dark spots may occur after acne pimples go away.

Dark spots are also called sun spots, liver spots, age spots, and dark acne spots.  These spots may occur after inflammation or injury or a pimple.  If that is the case, they are called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation of PIH.

Dermatologists can remove these types of dark spots:

  • acne spots
  • age spots
  • birth marks
  • bumps
  • clogged pores
  • liver spots
  • melasma
  • moles
  • scabs
  • seborrheic keratosis
  • sensitive skin
  • skin dehydration
  • solar lentigos
  • stinging skin
  • sun spots
  • tender skin
  • warts

Uneven brown discoloration and dark spots on the skin are usually caused by:

These are all types of hyperpigmentation. Age spots, solar lentigos, sun spots, and liver spots are all different names for the same thing. 

This blog will discuss the best dermatologist spot treatments including skin lightening creams, freezing with liquid nitrogen, lasers, chemical peels and microneedling.

It is impossible to get rid of dark spots over night. Any spot treatments that dermatologists use work best when combined with dermatologist-recommended skin lightening creams containing skin lightening ingredients.

These hyperpigmentation treatments need to be used in a skin care routine that targets all of the causes of hyperpigmentation.

Using skin care products with dermatologist spot treatments

Some types of dark spots such as dark spots on the face and legs from the sun, will go away faster if you use a skin lightening skin care product in addition to getting a medical treatment. Here are some choices:

If you get laser treatments or burn off your dark spots, you can apply post procedures ointments to help the scabs heal faster.

Here are some treatments to use on the skin after a dermatologist treats your spots with a laser or liquid nitrogen:

After dermatologist spot treatments always use a SPF. These sunscreens have skin lightening ingredients in them:

Dermatologist- recommended skin care for dark spots

Our dermatologists can recommend a skin care routine to treat your dark spots.  If you want to try and treat you dark spots at home, you need to know your Baumann Skin Type. 

One you know your skin type, it is easy to find the best dermatologist-tested products to treat dark spots on the skin.

If you have black skin, please read this blog on how to treat dark spots on black skin.

The Best Dermatologist Recommended Skin Care Routine Steps For Dark Spots On The Face :

1. Exfoliating cleanser or facial scrub to remove dark spots

2. Dermatologist-recommended skin lightening serums to treat dark spots

Look for serums that have several categories of skin lightening ingredients.

You need to alternate skin lightening ingredients in two different skin care routines. It will save you time and money if you select your skin care products according to your Baumann Skin Type.

Dermatologist-recommended skin whitening serums for oily skin

Dermatologist-recommended skin whitening serums for dry skin

3. Dermatologist-recommended moisturizing face cream to treat dark spots

Saturated fatty acids in your face cream can inactivate skin lighters. Look for face creams with unsaturated fatty acids that help lighten dark spots. Our favorite is Zerafite Skin Brightening Barrier Cream.

4. Dermatologist-recommended retinol to treat dark spots

Retinoids help lighten skin by inhibiting tyrosinase and increasing exfoliation.

Our favorite retinoids for beginners:

Depending on your skin type, different products will be suitable for you to treat dark spots on the face. The best way to save time and money is to shop by your Baumann Skin Type.

lasers for dark spots on skin

The Best Skin Procedures by Dermatologists To Treat Dark Spots on the Face

Lasers to Treat Dark Spots

Lasers are the fastest way to remove dark spots on the face, hands, arms and legs. There are  many types of “Pigmented Lesion Lasers” that are used to erase dark spots. Asl you dermatologist which they sugest for the type of dark spot you have. 

Before you get a laser spot treatment, buy an ointment to help the scab heal faster.  It can take 3-4 weeks for the scabs to heal after a pigmented lesion laser spot treatment so be prepared to look bad for at least a few weeks. You can cover the scabs after laser with makeup but they will still look crusty and noticeable.  Give yourself at least 5 weeks before an important event because it can take that long for the pink skin that is under the scab to return to a normal skin color.

These ointments can protect the wound and speed healing:

Skin care is usually the first line of treatment for dark spots on the face, and while there are a number of highly effective prescription creams and over the counter serums available, sometimes a dermatologist office treatment may be necessary.

Lasers, lights, chemical peels, mesotherapy with tranexamic acid, and microneedling have all been used to treat dark spots on the face, but sometimes they can actually worsen melasma.

Find a STS approved medical provider who is specially trained on combining skin care routines with in office treatments to remove dark spots.

Best Dermatology Treatment for Dark Spots

The best treatments for dark spots and patches on the skin depends upon what is causing the dark spot.


Treating melasma required a customized skin care routine learn more here about melasma skin care routines. Lasers, lights and peels can be used to treat dark spots and patches on the face, but these can worsen melasma. It is best to try a skin care routine first to treat melasma.

It is not the fastest way to clear melasma but it is the safest.

Sun spots, Liver Spots, Age spots

These may clear with skin care if they are flat, but they will respond much faster to laser,  Intense Pulsed Light (IRL), or freezing.

If these spots are raised, rough, or wart looking  they are probably seborrheic keratosis (SKs) and need laser or liquid nitrogen to clear fast.


Excess skin pigmentation is caused by hormones, sun and inflammation. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur after acne, surgery, trauma, a rash. or any type of skin inflammation.

Read more abut hyperpigmentation of the skin here.


Changing dark moles should always be evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out skin cancer like melanoma. You may need a biopsy.

Seborrheic keratosis or SKs

These wart looking dark bumps on the skin are rough and raised. Some patients call them "barnacles". Seborrheic keratoses need to be removed by freezing with liquid nitrogen (LN2) or laser treatments.


While most people are content with their freckles, if you want to remove them, then laser treatments work best. However, freckles often come back.


Dermatologists use many different skin care treatments to remove dark spots. Get a skin care routine customized by our dermatologists to remove dark spots. You can take the quiz and shop by your skin type, or find a doctor at this link.

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