Tips to Reduce Age Spots

Once you hit 40, years of UV overexposure may catch up with you in the form of age (a.k.a liver) spots on your hands, back, or face. These spots are caused by your skin over-producing melanin in an effort to protect itself from UV rays. While they're generally harmless, you don't have to live with them. While you can't go back in time to make sure you're slathered in SPF, there are some things you can try.

Bleaching Creams

Both over-the-counter and prescription creams can be effective in lightening age spots. Creams containing kojic or glycolic acid, hydroquinone, and other bleaching agents can even out your skin by killing the melanin in the hyper-pigmented area. However, different chemicals are better suited for specific skin types and colors, so be sure to check with your doctor first.

Fading & Medicinal Lotions

The results may take longer, but both prescription- and regular-strength fading lotions may be good alternatives to stop your age spots from producing melanin over time. Other lotions containing chemicals like Retin-A, Vitamin C, alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid gel are increasingly popular medicinal treatments.


Also good for combating fine lines and wrinkles, this technique works by buffing and polishing the skin, stimulating new growth and reducing the appearance of age spots.

Chemical Peels

With a wide range of strengths available, a chemical peel can even out the skin tone by burning off the top layer of skin to reveal fresher, more evenly toned skin underneath.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL Laser)

This treatment can stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and even out the skin tone, texture, and thickness, reducing the appearance of age spots.

Cryosurgery or Liquid Nitrogen Therapy

This quick procedure involves freezing the abnormal cells that form a sun spot. This is often a common treatment for skin cancer.

However you decide to minimize your current age spots, the best thing you can do to prevent new ones and further hyperpigmentation is to protect yourself from future UV exposure. Damaging rays can also ruin the results of a procedure in process, so be sure to always wear sunscreen. Also, before you make any treatment decision, it's best to ask your dermatologist to look over any of your age spots, just in case they're not benign cases of hyperpigmentation, but in fact early signs of skin cancer.



American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Mayo Clinic