Age Spot Treatments

Age spots, also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, typically appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Age spots are caused by an overproduction of melanin due to UV exposure & aging. Depending on the depth of pigmentation & your genetic skin color, we employ pico & fractional lasers to effectively remove these lesions without scarring.  

Recovery

1-6 days

Results

1 week

Treatment Time

4-8 minutes

Aftercare

SPF, retinoids

Treatment science score

The science of treating age spots

  • Age spots can appear on the face, chest & arms
  • This form of pigmentation can affect all skin types & tones
  • The best laser to remove age spots is the Picosure Pro
  • Fractional lasers can also be used on lighter skin types, albeiti more sessions
  • Skin can can be effective in preventing, but not treating established age spots

The picosecond laser has revolutionized the treatment of age spots. This laser gives fast results with minimal recovery time. 

What causes age spots?

Apart from the obvious, age spots are genetically determined, made worse with UV exposure. Though they present most frequently in mature patients, a genetic predisposition may lead to age spots appearing in the early 30s. 

What are the best age spot treatments?

Lasers provide the best, safest & most efficient method to remove age spots. 90% of age spots can be removed with just one laser treatment. The type of laser depends on the size & depth of the age spot, in addition to your genetic skin type or color. 

Fair skin patients do best with Q switch lasers as well as fractional lasers & IPL. Darker skin patients do best with Picosure Pro or Picoway lasers. 

Skin tone

Best laser 

Best peel 

Treatment sessions

Fair skin tone Q switch or pico TCA  1-2
Intermediate skin tone Picosure Pro Vi Precision 1-3
Dark skin tone Picosure Pro Vi Precision  2-4

What lasers do we use to treat age spots?

The Melasma Clinic has over 40 lasers & energy devices in Brisbane & Sydney. The most useful lasers we employ for age spots are-

  • CO2 & erbium lasers: for age spots in lighter skin type. 
  • Fractional 1927 thulium lasers: for superficial age spots in light skin.
  • Pico & Q switch lasers: for age spots & pigmentation in darker skin types. 

What about chemical peels?

The peel with the greatest efficacy is the Jessner TCA, followed by just TCA. These peels have a long recovery, as compared to AHA peels such as glycolic or lactic acid. 

The Cosmelan peel is also very effective, especially if age spots occur with melasma.

Peel type

Number of sessions

Recovery

Efficacy / Costs

AHA 5 0 days ++ / $
Cosmelan 1 7-14 days +++ / $$$
Jessner TCA 1 10 days +++++ / $$$$$

What results can I expect from a treatment?

Depending on the type of pigment, you can expect a 30 to 100% improvement in age spots. 

In most cases a single treatment will suffice. More sessions are required if you have darker skin, or spots that are raised. 

How are age spots managed in darker- Asian skin types?

Age spots in darker skin types are tricky, as post treatment skin darkening can occur, especially if the wrong laser or settings are used. 

On this basis we prefer picosecond lasers over fractional lasers for age spot removal in darker skin types. Our clinic uses special settings that we have developed over the past 10 years to effectively & safely address pigmentation in ethnic skin types. 

Can creams fade age spots?

Creams can be effective in mild cases of age spots. They are most useful as maintenance treatments. 

The top ingredients include-

  • Retinoids/retinol
  • AHAs such as glycolic & lactic acid
  • Arbutin
  • Tretinoin 
  • Ascorbic acid

A simple age spot prevention skin care program is- 

AM: Antioxidants, vitamin C, E, ferulic acid, SPF 50+
PM: Retinol, azelaic acid, arbutin

Will age spots return after treatment?

Once cleared the chances of recurrence is low, however in some cases maintenance treatment is required. Targeted skin care & sunscreen will help reduce new age spots from returning. 

Your clinician will guide you through your specific protocol & pigment corrector. This only applies to potentially irritating agents, it is not a blanket guide for all topicals/pigment correctors 
.
Still sensitive, even if short contact? 
.
1️⃣Use half the amount (dilute in moisturizer) 
.
2️⃣ moisturiser before & after
. 
3️⃣Titrate use, ie. skip a day….or three
.
4️⃣Test spot for allergy (very rare, skin irritation more common). Use a tiny amount, apply to the inner arm, photograph 📸the reaction taking note of the time it takes to develop irritation. Show this to your treating clinician to interpret & they will guide you. Irritation is different from allergic reactions💯
.
👉🙏🏼Addition of topicals will be guided by your treating clinician, based upon your skin sensitivity, current topical use & treatment (peels vs lasers). Timing is important 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma #dermatologistsydney

Your clinician will guide you through your specific protocol & pigment corrector. This only applies to potentially irritating agents, it is not a blanket guide for all topicals/pigment correctors
.
Still sensitive, even if short contact?
.
1️⃣Use half the amount (dilute in moisturizer)
.
2️⃣ moisturiser before & after
.
3️⃣Titrate use, ie. skip a day….or three
.
4️⃣Test spot for allergy (very rare, skin irritation more common). Use a tiny amount, apply to the inner arm, photograph 📸the reaction taking note of the time it takes to develop irritation. Show this to your treating clinician to interpret & they will guide you. Irritation is different from allergic reactions💯
.
👉🙏🏼Addition of topicals will be guided by your treating clinician, based upon your skin sensitivity, current topical use & treatment (peels vs lasers). Timing is important
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma #dermatologistsydney
...

Dr Vee Mang is an Australian trained physician with extensive experience in skin, having worked in the field of dermatology. She’s a cosmetic physician who works with Dr Van Park & Dr Davin Lim in Woollahra, Sydney
.
👉Her interests: Pigmentation, neurotoxin, acne management, anti-aging
.
📖Bookings: Open for consultation, send your expression of interest at our website, melasmaclinic.com.au Yes, an expression of interest is required for the Sydney clinic. 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma

Dr Vee Mang is an Australian trained physician with extensive experience in skin, having worked in the field of dermatology. She’s a cosmetic physician who works with Dr Van Park & Dr Davin Lim in Woollahra, Sydney
.
👉Her interests: Pigmentation, neurotoxin, acne management, anti-aging
.
📖Bookings: Open for consultation, send your expression of interest at our website, melasmaclinic.com.au Yes, an expression of interest is required for the Sydney clinic.
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #melasma
...

Dr Van Park is the co-founder of The Melasma Clinic. She’s a key opinion leader in the field of aesthetic injectables with her innovative & novel injection techniques with neuromodulators & soft tissue injectables
.
👉Rumor has it that Davin Lim fixed her melasma & hence why she founded this clinic. 
.
📖Bookings: She’s closed her books, but occasional consults may arise 
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #drvanpark #dvp #clinicdvp #cosmeticphysician

Dr Van Park is the co-founder of The Melasma Clinic. She’s a key opinion leader in the field of aesthetic injectables with her innovative & novel injection techniques with neuromodulators & soft tissue injectables
.
👉Rumor has it that Davin Lim fixed her melasma & hence why she founded this clinic.
.
📖Bookings: She’s closed her books, but occasional consults may arise
.
The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#themelasmaclinic #drvanpark #dvp #clinicdvp #cosmeticphysician
...

Davin Lim is a technician & co-founder. He comes up with the diagnosis, management plan & settings, nothing more. He fixed Van’s melasma & the rest is history☄️
.
👉In store: working on AI for ‘virtual Davin’, namely programmed AI bot for Q and A, coupled with AI video & virtual voice. Bot Q & A will be released in the next few weeks, virtual video & voice within 6 months (hopefully)
.
📖Bookings: handful of appointments available in Sydney every month, expression of interest via melasmaclinic.com.au 
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#davinlim #drdavinlim #themelasmaclinic #dermatologistsydney #dermatologyclinicsydney

Davin Lim is a technician & co-founder. He comes up with the diagnosis, management plan & settings, nothing more. He fixed Van’s melasma & the rest is history☄️
.
👉In store: working on AI for ‘virtual Davin’, namely programmed AI bot for Q and A, coupled with AI video & virtual voice. Bot Q & A will be released in the next few weeks, virtual video & voice within 6 months (hopefully)
.
📖Bookings: handful of appointments available in Sydney every month, expression of interest via melasmaclinic.com.au
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#davinlim #drdavinlim #themelasmaclinic #dermatologistsydney #dermatologyclinicsydney
...

IPL is awesome for non-melasma pigmentation but is often a cause of flare ups for melasma pigment. The reason is the excessive heat that is often associated with IPL. Exception to this rule is the use of exact filters in correct pulse widths with co-prescription of pigment inhibitors- medical therapy. It can be done, but the threshold for error is very thin💯
.
👉This patient: treated with old fashioned dermal toning with nano-lasers, Spectra by Lutronic, in addition to medical therapy
.
📆👉Timeline: 10 weeks. Pico lasers offer faster resolution, if performed correctly. 
.
Dr Davin Lim
Dermatologist
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#drdavinlim #IPL #IPLtreatment #melasma #melasmacure #melasmasurvivor #melasmaskincare #themelasmaclinic #sydneydermatologist

IPL is awesome for non-melasma pigmentation but is often a cause of flare ups for melasma pigment. The reason is the excessive heat that is often associated with IPL. Exception to this rule is the use of exact filters in correct pulse widths with co-prescription of pigment inhibitors- medical therapy. It can be done, but the threshold for error is very thin💯
.
👉This patient: treated with old fashioned dermal toning with nano-lasers, Spectra by Lutronic, in addition to medical therapy
.
📆👉Timeline: 10 weeks. Pico lasers offer faster resolution, if performed correctly.
.
Dr Davin Lim
Dermatologist
Brisbane | Sydney🇦🇺
.
#drdavinlim #IPL #IPLtreatment #melasma #melasmacure #melasmasurvivor #melasmaskincare #themelasmaclinic #sydneydermatologist
...

Dermamelan & Cosmelan peels have arrived 💯
.
👉Novel peels: are a good option for primarily epidermal melasma and superficial pigmentation, albeit a downtime of 6-12 days 
.
👌🏻Employ peels based upon diagnostic features of pigment and allowed recovery of the patient 
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic Sydney-Brisbane 🇦🇺
#melasma #cosmelan2 #cosmelanmask #cosmelanpeel

Dermamelan & Cosmelan peels have arrived 💯
.
👉Novel peels: are a good option for primarily epidermal melasma and superficial pigmentation, albeit a downtime of 6-12 days
.
👌🏻Employ peels based upon diagnostic features of pigment and allowed recovery of the patient
.
🏡The Melasma Clinic Sydney-Brisbane 🇦🇺
#melasma #cosmelan2 #cosmelanmask #cosmelanpeel
...

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Can BBL or IPL be used to treat age spots & sun spots?

BBL or IPL are excellent options for age spots, especially in lighter skin types. Though we still perform this procedure (especially for the chest & decolletage), pico lasers give better results with less pain & downtime. 

The Melasma Clinic treats all forms of pigmentation

Our specialist clinic is overseen by dermatologists who have extensive experience in the treatment of age spots & pigmentation in all skin types. We employ the latest lasers, chemical peels & compounded bespoke skin care to provide the best skin rejuvenation & outcomes. 

What types of chemical peels can treat age spots?

The best peels are medium depth Jessner TCA chemical peels, as they can address deeper pigmentation. 

Superficial peels such as Cosmelan, Dermamelan or Vi Precision Plus can address milder forms of pigmentation. They often require between 1-2 sessions for best results. 

Glycolic & lactic acid peels can often fade early age spots. 

Do age spots get bigger?

Age spots may slowly grow over time, doubling in diameter every 2-5 years. They may also increase in height & may get warty over time.

What is the cost for age spot removal?

Cost depends on the type of procedure & who performs the treatment. As a guide-

  • Pico laser: starting at $690 per session, extending to $1890 (by dermatologist) 
  • Fractional laser resurfacing: from $990 per session, performed by nurses, to $2590 by dermatologist. 
  • Chemical peel: From $890, factor in 2-4 sessions.  

YouTube video

Dr Davin Lim

645K subscribers

How to treat PIGMENTATION

If I can identify the cause of pigmentation, chances are I can treat it. This can only be achieved with careful real time examination…

More of our mostFrequently asked questions

Can microdermabrasion get rid of age spots?

Can hydroquinone fade age spots?

What are DPN or dermatosis papulosa nigra spots & how do we treat them?

What can be mistaken for an age spot?

Can age spots turn into skin cancer?

How can I tell the difference between a melanoma and an age spot?

Why did my age spot go darker after treatment?

What is the best natural age spot remover?

Can liquid nitrogen be used to treat age spots?

Is Fraxel a good laser for treating age spots?

Treating Age Spots; a Summary

Dr Davin Lim | Dermatologist
The Melasma Clinic, Brisbane | Sydney

The treatment algorithm for age spots is straightforward –

Lighter skin types: Fractional lasers such as LaseMD Ultra or Fraxel HD, with the option of erbium or CO2 lasers. For high contrast age spots, Picoway, Picosure Pro or Hollywood Spectra lasers are optional. Chemical peels include TCA or Jessner, followed by Dermelan or modified Cosmelan peels. The number of sessions depends on the device used. 

Darker skin types: Picosure Pro over other lasers, with the option of novel chemical peels. Fractional lasers can be useful, however they require 3-5 sessions, spaced 4-10 weeks apart.

Blending. Blending is key, especially on areas such as the arms, chest, & decolletage. This gives a natural transition between treated areas & sun damaged skin vs more photos protected areas. The use of modified laser settings with less fractional coverage, using good laser equipment is the key. For best results, factor in 2-5 sessions, depending on pigment contrast. 

Prevention. Post removal, prevention is essential to reduce recurrence. You can not prevent aging (hence the name ‘age’ spots), but you can reduce pigment production via sun protection & skin care. SPF 50 plus is recommended, twice daily without exception. If we had to pick one ingredient to prevent age spots & as an anti-aging topical it would be retinoids. Recommendations are-

  • Retinol OTC (over the counter): 0.1 to 0.2% formulation. 
  • Tretinoin: 0.05 to 0.2% formulation, Retrieve or compounded. 
  • Trifarotene: 4th generation retinoid, once a week. 
  • Retinoic acid 2-4% peel: once a month