Exploring Age & Liver Spots Treatments

Exploring Age & Liver Spots Treatments 1024 536 Community Clinical Pharmacy

A Review on Popular Treatment Options

Standing in front of the mirror, I stare at the dark spots on my face. My spots are light brown, tan, big and small, and mainly on my cheeks and nose and a few on the back of my hands. Age spots mostly appear in areas consistently exposed to sunlight. They may also be called liver spots because they were once thought to be a sign of liver disease and maybe the color of the liver.

I have had my share of treatments and products attempting to banish these annoying but harmless marks.

Here are some of the options and the verdicts on the results:


Some apply lemon juice, oatmeal, or honey on their skin. While these ingredients aren’t going to hurt you, they probably won’t do much for your age spots.

Chemical Peel

The safest way to get a chemical peel is by a trained professional or at a doctor’s office where an acid-based solution is applied to the skin. In this procedure layers of skin are removed and new skin will grow. You might have to do it more than once to get the results you want. Chemical peels may cause scarring, infection, or changes in your normal skin color.

Laser Treatment

Narrow beams of light to get rid of the cells that are causing your age spots can focus on specific areas without damaging the rest of your skin. You’ll probably need more than one treatment for it to work. Lasers might make your skin crust at first or darken your spots. But these side effects usually go away quickly. Again, this procedure must be done by a trained professional to minimize side effects.

Freezing (Cryotherapy)

Liquid nitrogen is placed on the spots for a few seconds to freeze the areas. As your skin heals, it should get lighter. Pain and irritation, swelling, blisters, redness, or scars are common side effects of cryotherapy. Must be done by a trained professional.


For this procedure, a rapidly spinning brush is used to sand down your spotted skin so new skin can replace it. To get good results, you may have to repeat the procedure. The process can cause redness, scabs, and swelling. It could also take a long time for your skin to heal and look normal again. Must be done by a trained professional.


Liquid nitrogen is placed on the spots for a few seconds to freeze the areas. As your skin heals, it should get lighter. Pain and irritation, swelling, blisters, redness, or scars are common side effects of cryotherapy. Must be done by a trained professional.


In this procedure, fine needles are used to make tiny, evenly spaced holes in your skin. Your body responds to the little wounds by growing fresh collagen and elastin to repair and heal the skin. This response can improve the look of age spots and other skin damage. Must be done by a trained professional.

Skin-Lightening Creams and Lotions

You can find lots of products on the drugstore shelves, claiming that they have skin-lightening properties. Most of these topical creams are pricey yet ineffective in fading age spots. Some contain harmful ingredients such as mercury. Mercury-containing products may list ingredients such as mercuric, calomel, cinnabaris, hydrargyri oxydum rubrum, or quicksilver.

Get a Prescription

Your compounding pharmacist along with your doctor or healthcare provider could save you time and money on creams that may not work. Together, they can design a formula that will be best for your skin. Prescription remedies are stronger than the ones you can buy over the counter. They usually have hydroquinone to reduce discoloration, retinoids to enhance skin turn over, and may have a mild steroid to lessen the irritation. You’ll still need to use them regularly for months to see good results.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” –Benjamin Franklin

Most people seek no treatment for age spots. Older adults, people with fair skin, and people who’ve spent lots of time in the sun are most prone to liver spots.

Tips to keep age spots lighter and prevent new ones:

  • Avoid the sun, especially at times when it’s most intense
  • Use a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen before you go outside, and reapply often
  • Wear gloves, a hat, or other clothing to protect the areas where you have age spots

Remember that, no matter which treatment you choose, getting rid of discolored skin will take time. In the meantime, you may try using makeup to cover the spots and make them harder to see.

Please contact us to discuss obtaining a prescription cream that would suit your particular sensitivities and needs.

Sharzad Green, Pharm. D., is a hormone replacement specialist & pharmacist at Community Clinical Pharmacy, in Mesa, Arizona. She offers private Hormone Replacement Consultations to find a tailored solution that fits your needs. Sharzad has had the privilege of working with over 12,000 patients and providers in the Valley and around the world.

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If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about your options when it comes to hormone replacement, please call Community Clinical Pharmacy and we can consult with you and your physician to find the best solution.

We serve the East Valley Metro Area including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and surrounding areas.

When in doubt, contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We are here to offer you solutions and assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!



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