Age spots are a form of hyperpigmentation characterized by patches of gray, brown and black pigment on the skin. These spots are flat and tend to appear on the parts of the body that receive the most sun, including the arms, shoulders and face. Also known as liver spots, this type of hyperpigmentation occurs when factors such as sun exposure and age trigger the overproduction of melanin, according to MayoClinic.com.
Treatments for age spots include professional cosmetic procedures, as well as medicated bleaching agents and chemical exfoliants formulated for home use. Some products do not require a prescription; however, to ensure safety and effectiveness, consult a physician before beginning treatment.
Hydroquinone cream is a bleaching agent that works by stopping melanin production, explains Dr. Audry Kunin, author of the "Dermadoctor Skinstruction Manual." With daily use, it gradually lightens age spots to match the surrounding skin. Hydroquinone is available over-the-counter in 2 percent formulations and in 4 percent formulations by prescription.
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