Freckles are brown spots that commonly occur in sun-exposed areas on the skin that are harmless. As one gets sun exposure, the spots darken. When one avoids the sun or UV exposure, the spots lighten. The face is the most common area affected, but the arms and legs are common sites as well. It is most common for one to have many of these lesions in an area, and not one or a few.

Freckles can be confused with “age spots” or moles (nevi), which do not get darker and lighter the way that freckles do.

Any lesion that has multiple colors, is larger than 4-mm, is asymmetrical, and/or has irregular borders should be checked by a board-certified Dermatologist.


As Sun-exposure, natural and/or artificial, makes them darker, avoidance is paramount. One should avoid midday Sun, wear protective clothing (i.e. wide brimmed hats and shirts), and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide in high concentrations. Topical Vitamin C preparations can help prevent new spots and lighten existing spots.

We carry many sunscreens that afford superior protection. Click here to see our Sunscreens.


Prescription creams can be used to lighten these spots and are extremely effective. We use a prescription that must be compounded (mixed by a pharmacist) that is extremely effective. Over-the-counter preparations containing hydroquinone, Kojic acid, and/or Vitamin C are all helpful to lighten these spots. We have two products that work well to lighten the spots:

FADE 1 2 3 which contains 2% hydroquinone and should be used until the desired color is seen. SPOT TREAT ONLY as it will lighten any skin that it is applied to Cerum which contains Vitamin C and Ferrulic Acid, which prevents further damage and lightens brown spots. This works great to prevent darkening and helps lighten as well.

Dr. Bader’s Recommendations: Cerum & Clear Defense SPF 45