How to Combat Age Spots

Noticing some unsightly spots on your skin? There are ways to make them disappear

Credit: mabe123

Spending time in the sun without protection, like a hat or sunscreen, can result in age spots

Noticing age spots due to the sun? Here’s how to limit their presence

People who spend a lot of time in the sun may one day find themselves with age spots. They usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders, arms and upper back.

These flat, oval spots are usually brown, black or grey, and can range in size from that of a freckle to one centimetre across.

Age spots are usually harmless and don’t require any treatment, but there are ways to diminish their appearance or remove them. Treatments include prescription bleaching creams, laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), dermabrasion (which consists of sanding down the surface layer of skin with a rapidly rotating brush) and chemical peel (which involves applying an acid to burn the outer layer of skin).

Over-the-counter fade creams exist too. Choose one that contains hydroquinone, deoxyarbutin, glycolic acid, or kojic acid. Some products may cause skin irritation. Remember, any spots that are new, dark, irregularly shaped, or have changed in appearance should be examined by a doctor first, because they could be a sign of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.