The appearance of age spots on hands and face may be distressing for some people, but for many, these flattened, brown spots are an accepted part of the aging process. If you are in the former category, and wish to regain your skin’s original coloration, treatments are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. While age spots are harmless in themselves, they are the result of years of sun damage, and can occasionally hide a more serious problem, such as pre-cancerous skin lesions or skin cancer. Before attempting to treat age spots at home, having a full body examination of your skin is recommended, to make sure that all those little brown spots really are age spots. Once you and your doctor are certain you do not have any underlying skin conditions or skin cancer, the following options are available to restore your skin to its original shade.
Remedies for Age Spots On Your Hands and Face
Many people treat age spots with over-the-counter skin lighteners or home remedies. Results of home treatment varies, depending on the number and coloration of age spots and the treatment used. OTC creams containing hydroquinone are the most effective home treatment available; however, skin irritation, allergic reactions, and bleaching of surrounding skin can occur. Creams containing kojic acid may also be used, and fewer people report side effects with kojic acid based skin lighteners. Home remedies such as lemon juice and potato skins produce a gradual lightening of age spots, but usually home remedies take months to show noticable results.
Other treatments for age spots include micro dermabraison, chemical peels, and prescription fade creams. Dermabrasion and chemical peels can be done at a day spa or dermatologist’s office, and typically produce noticeable results within two or three sessions. Prescription fade creams may take as long as six weeks to produce noticeable results, although many prescription cream users show visible results within three weeks.Side effects of dermabrasion and chemical peels are redness, sensitivity to sunlight, and sometimes continued peeling for up to a week after treatment. Side effects from prescription fade creams include peeling, redness, itching, and an increased tendancy to sunburn. The use of a good sunblock is recommended.
Laser therapy and cryotherapy (freezing) give the most dramatic results; because of the cost, however, many people prefer to use home and spa based treatments for age spots. In cases where age spots cover a significant portion of the face and hands, laser therapy is often the best option, offering fast results and rapid recovery. Redness and peeling are the most common side effects of laser therapy. Both laser therapy and cryotherapy must be done by a medical professional; many dermatologists offer these services in house, or can give referrals to medical centers where laser therapy and cryotherapy is done. A dermatologist will also examine age spots for signs of skin cancer, and recommend ways to prevent further skin damage from the sun. After treatment, the use of a broad spectrum sunblock is essential to protect healing skin and prevent age spots from recurring.
Resolving The Issue
The overall condition of your skin, your finances, and how quickly you want results are all determining factors in the treatment you and your doctor choose. However, age spots on hands and face do not have to be an inevitable part of aging, and most treatments can be worked into any budget.