How to remove brown spots from hands

Updated April 17, 2017

As a person ages, brown spots can appear on their hands. Brown spots, also known as liver spots and solar lentigines, tend to develop on the hands because of too much sun exposure. They are darker patches of sun-damaged skin caused by the overproduction of melanin in these areas. Other factors like genetics may also play a role in the development of these dark spots. For many people, the unsightly appearance of these marks may be a cosmetic concern. However, there are various treatments you can try to remove brown spots from the hands.

Use home remedies if the spots are few and not too dark. Pour some lemon juice into a container, soak a cotton pad in this mixture and apply it to the spots. Do this twice a day for eight weeks to help fade these marks. A cotton pad soaked in some castor oil and applied to these problem areas may also be beneficial. Rub the spots twice a day with this oil for a month.

Try some over-the-counter products such as bleaching creams, and antioxidant creams to treat brown spots. Bleaching creams that contain the substance hydroquinone may lighten these hyperpigmentations. Applying antioxidant creams and lotions with glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid, Vitamin C and topical retinoids (derived from Vitamin A) may improve the appearance of skin spots.

See a dermatologist when home remedies or topical products do not resolve the problem. He can prescribe stronger topical creams like Retin-A or suggest alternative dermatological treatments that are best for your particular case. Dermabrasion can be a non-surgical option in which a dermatologist uses micro-crystals and a vacuum to remove the outer surface layer of the skin.

Remove brown spots with stronger and more effective dermatological procedures such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and cryotherapy (see the Resource Section). To lighten very dark spots, a medium-depth chemical peeling treatment with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) may give good results. Cryotherapy, the removal of skin lesions or spots by freezing them with a substance like liquid nitrogen, is another technique used by doctors to treat this condition. Only a qualified dermatologist or surgeon should perform these procedures.

Treat skin hyperpigmentation with laser resurfacing procedures. Laser resurfacing techniques include the use of green or red-light devices to lighten the skin (see the Resource section). High-intensity pulsed light (IPL) is another method utilised to reduce the appearance of brown spots. In some cases, it may require a series of treatments to see results.


Prevent further sun damage to your hands and skin by not being out in the sun for prolonged periods. Use a special sunblock or sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater for added protection against harmful UVA rays.


See a doctor or dermatologist to determine if these brown spots are benign before starting any type of treatments. In general, most brown spots are benign; however, some may be a form of skin cancer called lentigo maligna. A doctor can diagnose this condition by checking these brown spots for changes in colour, size, symmetry and border shape. In some cases, laser treatments may make the condition worse.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Lemon juice
  • Cotton pads
  • Castor oil
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