March 5, 2020 By Dr Chetna Singh

Q-switched Laser for treating Freckles


What are freckles?

Freckles are small brown spots on your skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In most cases, freckles are harmless. They form as a result of overproduction of melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color (pigmentation). Overall, freckles come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulation. Medically they are harmless but cosmetically they can affect your looks.


In C&S cosmetic surgery and laser clinic we use Q-switched laser  to remove unwanted brown spots, sun freckles, or tattoos from  skin.

How do I know if I need this treatment?

The Q-switched laser is appropriate if you have a few isolated colored spots, large or small, that you would like to remove. We stress that this treatment is best for removing only a few spots.  If you have many diffused spots we recommend a photorejuvenation procedure such as with intense pulsed light (Elight) or the Fraxel laser. The Q-switched laser is also effective against sun spots on the chest, arms or legs. 

The Q-switched laser is not appropriate for pregnant women or patients who have taken Accutane for the past six months. Persons with a history of cold sores or herpes simplex virus should not have this procedure until they are treated for these conditions.

How does Q-switched laser treatment work?

The Q-switched laser is used to remove unwanted brown spots, sun freckles, or tattoos from your skin. The laser energy pulse, which is in billionths of a second, releases the pigment into the skin so it can be naturally reabsorbed and disposed of by the body.

The laser energy feels like many tiny hot dots on your skin. The discomfort is greatly reduced (but not eliminated) by applying topical anaesthetic on the area.


What benefits can I expect?

A single treatment usually removes greater than 75-100% of an individual brown spot. A second or, on rare occasions, a third treatment, may be needed to completely neutralize the color.


What are the risks and side effects?

A red or brown spot may appear when the treated sun freckle is gone and the crust heals. This new spot is temporary and usually goes away on its own. Infections and/ scars are rare. Proper skin care and sun avoidance are important.

What happens after treatment?

If the area being treated is the face, make sure to tell the Doctor if you have a history of cold sores on herpes simplex because laser energy may activate the virus. Be aware that you will have crusts on the treated area for a few days to 2 weeks . We recommend that you treat these with plain vaseline or petroleum jelly as this speeds the healing.