Liver spots are flat, pigmented areas on the skin. They have nothing to do with the liver and are actually caused by sun exposure. The best way to avoid liver spots is to take precautions to reduce sun damage, although certain treatments may be helpful in removing or lightening liver spots.
If you are embarrassed of liver spots, talk to a skincare professional about treatments available to remove or lighten them. Prescription bleaching creams may be effective in lightening liver spots over the course of several months. They may be used alone, or may be combined with retinoids and/or steroids.
Over-the-counter bleaching creams may be available and start around $60. Patients should discuss over-the-counter options with a doctor, and should discuss the price of prescription creams with a doctor as well.
Lasers have come a long way in the medical field since they were first introduced several decades ago. The laser energy works to destroy the melanocytes causing the dark pigmentation of liver spots. The laser does not damage the skin during therapy, and results may take several weeks or months to fully appear. Laser treatments may range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Dermabrasion is a treatment that involves sanding the surface of the skin. It is very invasive in most cases and may require a significant recovery period. A rapidly rotating brush or abrasion surface is used to remove the skin's surface. New skin will grow over the area, while redness and scabs may be present as the new skin grows and the face heals. Dermabrasion may cost around $1,000 to $3,000 or more in some cases.
Chemical peels utilize different chemicals to produce a controlled damage to the skin. Peels may be superficial, affecting only the epidermis, or may affect the dermis in a deep peel. Superficial or medium depth peels may be used to fade liver spots. As the skin is damaged, new skin grows in its place. The price of chemical peels range from a few hundred dollars for superficial peels to over $5,000 for deep peels.
Patients who are interested in any of these treatments to remove or fade liver spots are encouraged to discuss them in greater detail with a licensed skincare professional. The cost of each treatment may vary depending on the clinic, geographic location and the severity of your condition.