Liver spots are a type of freckling caused by exposure to the skin. Although this freckling can occur at any age, it typically doesn't show up until later in life, which is why these blemishes are also called age spots. While these spots generally aren't harmful, here are two things you can do to get rid of them if you find them bothersome.
Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
While you can try topical treatments to eliminate the age spots, they may not be as effective as you would like. That's because the hyperpigmentation related to age spots occurs below the top layer of the skin. Thus, anything you do to get rid of the blemish must penetrate this level.
Dermabrasion is one treatment that can be effective at eradicating age spots. This procedure involves sanding the skin to remove the top layers and force the body to produce new ones. As with sanding imperfections out of wood, dermabrasion will lighten age spots with each treatment until they can't be seen anymore.
However, dermabrasion is considered a surgical procedure because it extracts multiple layers at a time. It can also be very painful, which is why a topical or injectable anesthetic is typically used. Microdermabrasion is a gentler alternative that only removes the top layer of skin. Because it's less abrasive, though, it may take longer to get rid of age spots.
Regardless of which option you go with, it's important to note that both can cause redness and irritation. Additionally, neither of these treatments are appropriate for people with rosacea or tiny veins on the surface of their skin because it could worsen the condition. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of this treatment to ensure it is best for your particular skin type.
Cryotherapy is typically used to remove warts and similar skin issues. However, it can be effective at removing age spots since skin lightening is a side effect of the treatment. How this procedure works is the dermatologist dips a cotton swap in a freezing agent (typically liquid nitrogen) and applies it to the age spot, destroying the pigmentation. It typically requires several treatments, but the spot will fade over time.
Cryotherapy is ideal with you only have a few age spots you want to eliminate. You should know, though, that it can cause skin irritation. There is a chance the skin may become discolored, which increases the darker your skin is. It may be a good idea to test the treatment on an area of your skin that's typically hidden to see how it will affect you before having it done on exposed areas.
For more information about these and other treatments available for liver spots, contact a dermatologist or skin specialist like those at Essential Life Laser Skin Care Clinic.