Choices of Laser for Brown Spots

What is your take on IPL vs. Yag lasers for removing PIH brown spots on cheeks of face? Thanks for any suggestions.

There are different YAG  lasers so it really depends on which it is.  Most of the YAG lasers in use now are designed for hair removal and not particularly good for brown spots (lentigines) on the face, hands, legs, etc.   The older Q-switched YAG laser which is a green, 532 nm wavelength is a great laser for removing brown spots.

The newer, more powerful IPLs (like the Lumenis One) which have a squared off pulse width and plenty of power  (okay  I know this is getting a little technical!) are also excellent.  Some of the older models and salon models just don’t have enough power or ability to customize to make them worth doing.

Please be sure you’ve seen a dermatologist and are sure that these brown spots are lentigines and not skin cancers or melasma.  Laser treatment of the wrong thing can be a disaster!

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!