Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Age Spot Removal

Age Spot Removal NYCAge spots, also called liver spots, are discolorations of the top layer of your skin. They’re caused by sun exposure, and they’re usually brown or tan and flat. Typically, they are found on your face and hands because those are the areas of skin that are most commonly exposed to the sun.

You begin noticing age spots when you reach your 50s. The best way to prevent age spots is regular protection from the sun or avoiding the sun as much as possible throughout your life. If you already have them, you can take steps to remove them.

While these spots aren’t cancerous, they can be unsightly. There’s no medical reason to remove them, but you may choose to get rid of them to improve your self-esteem and skin health. Age spots don’t go away on their own. They require diagnosis by a New York dermatologist. Treatments help lighten or even get rid of your age spots.

Hydroquinone Topical

Hydroquinone is a prescription-strength bleaching cream. It works by decreasing the formation of melanin in your skin, which is the cause of the brown discoloration. Hydroquinone is a topical used at home; it requires no preparation nor in-office treatment. Use it exactly as your dermatologist in NYC recommends to avoid complications. It isn’t painful, although you should stop using it if you experience any of these side effects:

  • Red skin at the application site
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Black or blue discoloration
  • Other types of irritation

Hydroquinone topical should not be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid unnecessary sun and UV exposure, such as tanning beds, while using hydroquinone. Tell your dermatologist about all other medications or supplements you’re taking before using hydroquinone cream. You should see results after about two months of regular use.

Tretinoin Topical

Tretinoin topical treatments are retinoids, meaning they have a high concentration of vitamin A. This is a prescription-strength treatment and doesn’t require any preparations. You don’t have an in-office procedure. Tretinoin is available by prescription only and should be used exactly as directed by your Manhattan dermatologist.

Retinoids work to reduce the appearance of age spots by helping the skin renew and heal itself. If you’re not sure if you’re allergic to retinoids, use a small amount of the cream on your skin as a test before applying it to larger areas, especially if you need it on your face. Stop using tretinoin immediately and notify your dermatologist if you experience any of the following reactions to the treated area:

  • Burning
  • Peeling
  • Stinging
  • Swelling
  • Blistering
  • Crusting
  • Redness

Common side effects that shouldn’t alarm you are mild warming of the skin and changes in the skin color. You should start to see results within a couple of weeks of regular use.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy for age spot removal is an effective treatment option that your dermatologist in New York City performs. It works by destroying the cells that produce melanin, called melanocytes. The laser specifically targets these cells; it doesn’t damage your skin. You don’t need to prepare for your laser treatments, although it always helps your dermatologist if you come to your appointment without makeup.

Treatments aren’t considered painful, but your dermatologist may use a numbing cream for you if needed. Treatments usually take between 10 and 15 minutes per session, and you may need more than one session. You should begin to see results after several weeks, but it may also take several months for results to appear. There are little to no side effects to laser treatments of age spots, but you should stay out of the sun and use sunscreen to protect your skin.


Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen, a freezing agent, on age spots to destroy dark pigmentation. Cryotherapy is usually done on groupings or large age spots. There is a brief healing period after treatment before your age spots begin to appear lighter. Cryotherapy is a procedure done in the office of your Manhattan dermatologist. Procedures usually take around 15 minutes.

Most people consider cryotherapy to be minimally painful. You’ll experience few side effects, as well. The site of the treatment may be temporarily irritated after the procedure. There is also the slight risk that the area will be scarred or discolored. Recovery is as long as it takes a light scab on your skin to heal. You’ll see results once this skin heals, typically a week or so.


Dermabrasion is a treatment used for several skin conditions. It uses a rapidly rotating brush on the top layer of your skin, physically removing it. This treatment causes the skin to regenerate faster, so a healthier top layer grows to replace the removed layer. Your NYC dermatologist completes the dermabrasion treatment during an office visit. It doesn’t require any preparation and only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to finish. It may cause some redness and scabbing.

There are almost no side effects to dermabrasion besides sensitive skin and sometimes scabbing. You see results as the new skin grows in and heals. Despite the vigorous brushing, you feel little to no pain during this procedure. Dermabrasion is a very effective treatment option, and some people prefer the fact that no chemicals are needed. There is, however, a slight risk of permanent scarring and discoloration.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a treatment for which your top-rated dermatologist NYC applies a thin layer of an acidic solution to the areas of your skin with age spots. This acidic solution lightly burns the outer layer of your skin, where the age spots are located. After your treatment, the top layer of your skin begins to peel, and a new layer forms to take its place. While this may sound painful, you should experience no pain, only mild irritation.

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for this treatment. You may experience red or pink skin while the new top layer forms, but you’ll see results after this top layer grows in. There are very few side effects to chemical peels — although you need to stay out of the sun while your skin is healing. There is a slight risk of an allergic reaction or unwanted discoloration.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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