9 Tips For Age Spot Removal And Prevention
Prescription-Strength Help To Fade Age Spots
For especially stubborn age spots that have been given the all-clear by your dermatologist, a prescription-strength fade cream with 4% hydroquinone could be your first course of action. “Rub it on twice a day for 21 to 28 days, and you may see marked improvement,” says Daniel. For a stronger, quicker bleaching effect, some doctors prescribe vitamin A creams such as tretinoin (Retin-A and Renova) along with prescription-strength hydroquinone. Some studies involving laboratory animals have raised questions about the safety of hydroquinone—specifically, whether it might contribute to cancer. To date, no such link has been identified in humans, and doctors continue to prescribe hydroquinone to patients. Still, you should talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks, based on your own health history.
MORE:21 Crazy Things Your Dermatologist Has Seen
If creams fail to do the trick, your doctor has several treatment options at his disposal to make age spots disappear, says Daniel. For instance, your doctor can freeze them with liquid nitrogen. After a few weeks, the spots peel off. “This is a highly effective procedure for many benign age spots,” he says. A second treatment procedure is a chemical peel—done with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or glycolic acid. These treatments can be quite effective for all body areas but may cause scarring and whitening of the skin if not done properly. The upper layer of affected skin takes 2 to 3 days to peel from your face or 5 to 7 days from your arms and chest. A third, and much more expensive, procedure (average cost ranges between ,750 and ,300 depending on how large an area is treated) is laser resurfacing. During this procedure, the doctor uses pulses of laser light to fade the spots. The laser resurfacing procedure can take a half hour to an hour to perform and 2 to 6 weeks to heal.
“A generally less expensive and quicker procedure than lasers is a relatively new technique known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) or more simply microneedling,” says Novick. “The procedure takes only about 5-10 minutes to perform and has little or no downtime; most people return to work or social activities immediately afterward.” Four to six treatments, spaced at 4 to 6 week intervals, are generally required for optimal lightening. Treatment costs may range between 0 and 0 per session, depending upon the number and location of the age spots.
When To Visit A Doctor
If your age spots don’t respond to home remedies, or if you have an age spot that bleeds, itches, tingles, or changes in size or color, it’s time to see your doctor. Some skin cancers, such as melanoma, can look like age spots.
Panel Of Advisors
C. Ralph Daniel III, MD,is a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
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