Age spots, called solar lentigines, are a common cosmetic problem for many patients. These spots appear in middle age or later and can be few or numerous. Typically, light brown flat spots appear on sun-exposed skin. These can be very small or larger. Nearly always, they are uniform in color, have smooth borders, and are symmetrical. Although these spots are harmless, many patients seek treatment for cosmetic purposes.
These spots can be easily confused with a lentigo maligna, which is an early form of malignant melanoma. A lentigo maligna often has two or more colors, an irregular border, and is asymmetrical. If one has these findings, they should seek the advice of a Dermatologist.
Many treatments are available for the treatment of age spots. The list below contains some of the more commonly used treatments.
Vitamin C, topical
Retinol or retinaldehyde
Prescription (prepackaged or compounded)
Glycolic acid (often multiple treatments needed)
Salicylic acid (very little effect)
Jessner’s solution (often multiple treatments needed)
Tricholoracetic acid (TCA)
Laser & Light-Based Treatments
Nd:Yag (neodinium Yag)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)-resurfacing
Intense Pulsed Light
Alone, microdermabrasion is not very effective. It can be combined with other treatments, such as topical treatments and/or chemical peels to make them more effective.
What Does Dr. Bader recommend?
Whatever your needs are, we will provide options for you that best fit your needs and budget. Whether you want the best possible result or you can’t afford any downtime, we will give you options that best suit your own personal circumstances and goals.
For at home treatments of a few spots: a compounded prescription containing hydroquinone and several other ingredients is extremely effective and costs approximately $35.
For the treatment of many lesions on the face or elsewhere, a topical compound prescription is very effective, Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, or laser treatments are all good options.