Monday, April 19, 2010

How to Hide Age Spots


Age spots, sometimes referred to as liver spots, are dark, flat, brown, black or gray marks that vary in size. They usually appear on the face, back of the hands, arms and shoulders. While age spots are most common on people over the age of 40, they can develop on younger people as well, report doctors at the Mayo Clinic. While age spots typically are harmless, many people want to hide or remove age spots for cosmetic reasons.

Step 1

Apply a cream that contains a mild bleaching agent. Get a prescription for the cream from your doctor or dermatologist. Hydroquinone, or bleaching cream, often is used in conjunction with retinoids and mild steroids. The cream can cause age spots to fade over time.

Step 2

Destroy the melanocytes, which are the dark pigments in the skin that cause age spots, by getting laser therapy treatments. It usually takes several sessions to see any effects from the lasers, which Mayo Clinic doctors report are relatively risk-free.

Step 3

Get a chemical peel that burns the outer layer of skin and effectively hides the dark spots. Surface chemical peels can be performed by a cosmetologist. It can take several treatments to hide the darker spots.

Step 4

Try dermabrasion, which is a procedure that gently sands away the top layer of skin. The darkness of the age spot may be reduced, although dermabrasion can leave the skin temporarily red and swollen.

Step 5

Use an over-the-counter fade cream that contains hydroquinone glycolic acid, deoxyarbutin or kojic acid. The cream needs to be able to penetrate the through the top layer of skin to reach the pigment in order to effectively hide the age spot. Treatments must be often and regular and may cause side effects such as redness or itching.

Step 6

Rub concealer over the age spots to avoid expensive and potentially harmful cosmetic procedures. Apply a small amount of makeup to the dark spot and rub into surrounding areas to blend in with the skin.

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