Face and hand treatments

Want to remove or lighten your age spots? Here are some professional treatments designed to reduce or eliminate those bad boys from your face and body.

Medicated creams

Let’s talk about prescription topicals. These medicated creams are formulated to help lighten spots. Be patient, sometimes it takes a few months to see results.

Your dermatologist may prescribe:

Warning: medicated creams are not without risk. They can cause temporary side effects like:

If you have any of these problems for more than a few days, stop using it! Tell your doctor or dermatologist. They will help you determine if the product is right for you.

OTC creams

Although they may not be as powerful as prescription topicals, over-the-counter (OTC) products could be an affordable and accessible way to lighten age spots.

For a hyperpigmentation-correcting punch, look for products that contain these ingredients:

Bonus: Many creams and serums in the beauty department also contain ingredients that help smooth fine lines and hydrate dry skin.

Laser and IPL treatment

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are both light-based treatments used to blast age spots to infinity and beyond!

Both treatments fade spots by reaching below the surface of your skin. Laser resurfacing removes layers of skin until the spot disappears, while IPL uses high-powered light energy to destroy melanin (the substance that gives age spots their color).

The best part? These treatments can produce lasting effects. IPL gets additional bonus points for potentially improving skin texture.

A word of warning: you must protect your skin from the sun with vigilance to avoid damage after these treatments. Some people also experience temporary discoloration, redness, and after laser resurfacing. Allow 7 days of unavailability.


This colder-than-cold treatment uses an *ice-cold* solution to literally freeze dark spots. ❄️

During cryotherapy treatment, your doctor will use a cotton swab to apply liquid nitrogen solution directly to the spot. It *may* sting a little.

Although cryotherapy will not completely remove age spots, it will certainly make them less noticeable. This makes it more effective at fighting individual age spots than larger clusters.

Be prepared to deal with temporary skin irritation or discoloration after treatment. Some people also develop scars.


Think of dermabrasion as most intensive exfoliation. It will remove the superficial layer of your skin, including age spots or any other hyperpigmentation.

Dermabrasion involves a fast-spinning brush used for “planing”, i.e. sanding off the top layer of your skin. It’s time for a new sparkle!

Some people need multiple dermabrasion treatments to notice a difference. But this treatment can trigger redness, irritation and scabs. Discuss sensitive skin with your dermatologist to help you decide if dermabrasion is right for you.


Essentially the “light” version of dermabrasion, microdermabrasion gently and gradually removes the top layer of skin. If dermabrasion “sands” the skin, microdermabrasion polishes it.

It can take time – and several treatments – to see results from microdermabrasion. Commit to dating for several months if you want to reap the full benefits of these gentle, spot-reducing benefits.

Microdermabrasion can cause redness or even scabs. It can also exacerbate skin conditions like rosacea.


This procedure uses tiny needles to puncture the skin repeatedly. The resulting micro-wounds trigger your skin’s natural healing process, resulting in skin cell turnover and a fresh glow.

Research suggests that microneedling can lighten dark spots *and* reduce wrinkles, boost collagen production, and improve skin elasticity.

Microneedling is considered fairly safe, but you may experience temporary redness, swelling, or dryness. People with certain skin conditions or infections should avoid microneedling, as it can worsen symptoms or cause scarring. Discuss any concerns in advance with your dermatologist.

Chemical peel

A chemical peel is exactly what it sounds like: chemicals are used to “peel off” the top layer of your skin.

During a peel, your doctor will apply a liquid acid or enzyme to your face. The acid lifts (or peels) the skin, removing age spots and blemishes with it. Like dermabrasion, a chemical peel can promote the growth of new skin cells.

contrary to dermabrasion, chemical peels come in different types and strengths. Your doctor will choose the best option for your skin type and your goals.

If all you can think of is Samantha Jones in *this* episode of “Sex and the City,” give us a listen. Yes, a chemical peel can cause redness. But no, you shouldn’t look like a red lobster.

However, your skin may flake off as the dead skin peels off. In Rare casespeople experience temporary skin discoloration or scarring.

Age spots are not an integral part of aging. These round, dark spots develop when skin cells race to produce melanin. Prolonged exposure to the sun can speed up production (thanks UV rays 🙄).

Most people notice age spots after reaching the age of 50, but they can appear at any season of life. Your risk of developing them increases if you:

  • have fair skin that burns easily
  • use tanning beds
  • do not apply sunscreen regularly

Age spots have several defining characteristics, including:

  • round or oval shape
  • tan to dark brown coloration
  • smooth and flat surface
  • single spots or clusters
  • size varying from one point to one inch in width

Age spots are most likely to appear on your face, shoulders, chest, arms or hands – basically, the parts of the body most exposed to the sun.

To diagnose age spots, your dermatologist will perform a thorough visual inspection. If they suspect the possibility of skin cancer, they may perform a skin biopsy.

About Sally Dominguez

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