Age spots, otherwise known as liver spots, are a common-occurrence dermatological problem among older persons. In short, age spots are areas of skin that have darkened due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The spots are generally harmless, but can be annoying as they always appear in visible areas such as the face, arms and hands. However, there are a variety of treatments that can help the spots fade, or even be removed altogether to reveal younger, unblemished skin.
Begin using sunscreen every day to prevent further age spots. As noted, the spots are a result of overexposure to the sun's rays; sunscreen will help shield your skin from such exposure.
Experiment with a few different treatments as described in Steps 2 through 8.
Purchase an age spot removal cream such as Derma E Skin Lighten Age Spot Cream.
Apply the cream to the affected areas of skin, making sure to completely rub it into the area. Another brand known to work well is Retin-A, a wrinkle cream given by prescription. However, there are many brands that will suffice; if one does not work, simply try another.
Apply sunscreen on top of the age spot removal cream, as discussed in Step 1.
Attempt to bleach the skin if the creams do not appear to be having any effect after several weeks. Hydroquinone is a popular skin-bleaching product. You can purchase it in concentrations of 2 per cent (over the counter) or 4 per cent (with a prescription from your dermatologist). Dermatologists recommend using bleaching products in conjunction with a product such as Retin-A.
Consult with a dermatologist if none of the options listed earlier have worked to discuss options such as laser treatments, photofacials or glycolic acid peels.
Decide on a treatment option, factoring in affordability and comfort levels. Note that these options will likely require several treatments before any improvement can be seen.
Before attempting to remove the age spots, have them examined by your doctor to ensure that they are simply age spots and not something more serious. Note that insurance will not typically cover any type of cosmetic treatments; therefore, you will be responsible for the entire cost of the spot removal. If you have any outstanding medical conditions or take any medications, consult your general practitioner before deciding on either a self-treatment or dermatologist-performed treatment option. Your GP knows your medical history better than the dermatologist and will know what treatments are safe for you to attempt.