How to treat and get rid of age spots

Age spots, or liver spots as they're also known, are caused by over exposure to the sun and, yes, age. As our bodies get older, our skin's melanin becomes less able to handle the sun's UV rays and age spots are the result.

If you've developed age spots, you'll be happy to know there are several ways to treat and get rid of them. Just choose the one you're most comfortable with.

Creams - You can buy creams that work by bleaching age spots anywhere on your body. While great for large areas of sun damage, like on your chest or face, if you only want to lighten individual age spots, creams don't work very well. They bleach the whole area so, sure, your age spots are lighter, but so is the rest of your hand or arm, making the spots just as visible as they always were.

Chemical Peels - Another popular way of lessening or getting rid of age spots is by having a chemical peel, or actually, several treatments over two or three months. A chemical solution is applied to your skin and then allowed to 'burn' the top layer off. The dead skin is wiped off, leaving baby-fresh skin underneath. After several treatments, you'll notice a big difference in the darkness of your age spots and they'll diminish to almost nothing over time. As long as you have the full course of treatments, that is.

Microdermabrasion - One of the least expensive ways of treating or getting rid of age spots is with microdermabrasion. An abrasive substance, often something like tiny crystals or even crushed apricot seeds, is added to a cream and the cream is used to scrub away the top layer of your skin. The age spots begin to lessen and, after a number of treatments, often become invisible to the naked eye.

Lasers - Lasers are being used more and more often to treat age spots, as the treatment takes around 30 minutes and is the only one that removes age spots permanently. However, do be aware, lasers burn your skin, and your age spots will usually bleed and then scab. So don't plan anything important socially for up to a week afterwards.

Prevention of new age spots

If you do have age spots and decide to have any of the above treatments, once you're age spot-free, make sure you always wear sunscreen when going outside so new ones won't develop.

If you don't have age spots, always wear sunscreen so you don't develop them at a later time.

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