Q:

What is the best way to get rid of age spots?

A:

Quick Answer

One of the most effective ways to remove age spots is with laser therapy. Using sunscreen and over-the-counter or prescription retinoid solutions also help reverse hyperpigmentation.

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Full Answer

As the skin ages, particularly after extended exposure to the sun in time, it may develop dark marks or spots called hyperpigmentation. Older skin loses elasticity due to decreased production of collagen and elastin and does not respond as quickly to change as younger skin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that are responsible for the structural integrity of skin.

Age spots, also called sun spots or liver spots, are caused by exposure to the sun. Age spots come from localized melanin build-up and are one of the top signs of aging, along with wrinkles, spider veins, enlarged pores and sagging skin.

Laser treatments provide deep skin penetration that removes sun-damaged tissue and encourages the growth of new collagen cells. There are different types of laser treatments available, but while each is completed in the cosmetic surgeon's office and patients are able to go home immediately after, they are medical procedures and, as such, require healing time.

Less-invasive measures for age spot removal include the use of sunscreen and retinoids. Sunscreen offers protection from new damage and free radicals while retinoids, a vitamin A derivative, prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and also lighten existing age spots.

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