Age Spots or Sun Spots

Hands with aging spots
 
Q: What can I do about brown aging spots on my hands?
 
A: The brown discolorations known as Ďage spotsí are more accurately known as sun spots, since they are caused by exposure to the sun. Most sun spots are harmless, unless they are changing or getting bigger than the surrounding spots.
 
Sun spots can be prevented by using liberal amounts of sunscreen and avoiding exposure to the sun by wearing protective clothing.
 
There are a number of treatment creams available for age spots and all are designed to lighten the darkened skin areas. The newest of these treatments contain alpha-hydroxy acid gel and beta-hydroxy acid gel. There are also preparations made for treating age spots that contain Retinoic Acid.
 
You can also seek treatments such as alpha-hydroxy-acid peels and liquid-nitrogen therapy. These must be performed by certified and trained technicians. The acid peels are effective on all skin types, and the acids are applied then the skin is allowed to heal. Liquid nitrogen therapy is the fastest method of age spot removal. The liquid nitrogen is applied to the spot and the spot turns white a month or so after the treatment.
 
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Photo: Zay Nyi Nyi/Shutterstock
 
See also:
 
How tanning works
 
Pigment marks on the skin