Bleaching Liver Spots

Liver spots have nothing to do with your liver. They are actually “sun” spots and are the result of sun damage to melanocytes, the pigment making cells in your skin. Although patients often think these brown spots occur only on the back of the hands, they can be found anywhere there is sun damage such as the face, chest, back, and scalp.

Sun spots are a sign of aging; it takes years of sun damage to develop them and they are associated with being old. As such, patients often ask me what they can do to get rid of them.

There are many ways to treat sun spots including freezing them with a cryospray, zapping them with a laser, applying a chemical peel, and treating with bleaching creams. Treating them with lasers, peels, or freezing can be painful and can lead to more pigmentation from damage done by the treatment. Bleaching creams can work, but many of the products currently available are not potent enough to lighten these spots satisfactorily.

A recent study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology examined the effectiveness of a new treatment that combines a bleaching agent with a retinoid to treat these brown spots. Retinoids are used to treat a variety of skin conditions from acne to wrinkles and have been shown to smooth pigment irregularities. They found that applying Solage® (which contains mequinol, a bleach, and tretinoin, a retinoid) lightened brown spots after two months of use. They also found that the treated spots did not return after stopping the treatment.

Because sun spots are the result of damage from ultraviolet light, it is necessary to wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure in the treated areas or the brown spots will eventually come back (not to mention, you would develop new ones).

Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. You might also like:

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9 thoughts on “Bleaching Liver Spots”

  1. I am in my early twenties and already I have a sun spot on my face! My doctor prescribed tretinoin cream to be applied twice daily. I’ve done this religiously for the past 3 months and all I’ve gotten was redness where the cream was applied but the spot is still there.

    Is tretinoin cream indicated for sun spots? How long would you say you need to apply this for in order to see results? Do the spots disappear permanently with tretinoin use?

  2. This was a great read, this just lets us know how damaging the sun can be to out bodies, don’t get me wrong, I love the sun, but I am not going to take the chance of damaging my skin,

  3. I just recently purchased an Omnilux New-U device to treat crowsfeet. However, I’m a little skeptical if this device will darken the existing brown spots I have on my face and if it adds more of the brown spots since this uses LED red light.

    Your advise is very much appreciated.

    Thank you,


  4. Dear Kat

    It is important that you also use a daily sunscreen alongside your tretinoin treatment. And, be patient. Treatment with tretinoin will work, but it takes time.
    elan medical skin clinic

  5. I read your posts for a long time and should tell that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  6. Skin lightening-bleaching cream-skin whitening-fade cream. Don’t bleach your skin until you read this.

  7. I think it is very important to study about those skin lightening ingredients before you purchase them.

  8. RaddFlash says:

    I’m 16 and I had dark spots all on my skin until I recently used the Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream USP 0.1% on my skin my spots are bleached. I want to know will my bleached spot turn back into my regular skin color and what do I have to do to make my skin go back to its original color

  9. Sorry that happened to you. I couldn’t give you good advice without seeing you as my patient. I’m sure your physician who prescribed the medication could give you better advice. In general, discoloration problems can be frustrating. I hope you get it resolved soon.

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