Age spots and mole removal
Age spots are generally thought to be the result of sun damage and
usually show up on the face, hands, arms, or chest. In women, blotches
may also be caused by pregnancy or birth control pills. Used alone,
over-the-counter bleaching creams are limited in effectiveness.
Prescription creams have slightly higher percentage of the active
ingredient hydroquinone (hy-droh-KWIHN-ohn). Retin-A can fade some
spots and pairing it with a bleaching cream may accelerate the effect.
Products with 10 percent alpha-hydroxy acid and chemical peels may also
help lighten spots. If such treatments aren't successful, age spots can
be removed by freezing or with a ruby laser. Moles are raised,
typically benign (buh-NINE) bumps of skin that are usually taken off
for cosmetic reasons. This may be accomplished with an incisional
biopsy, in which most of the mole is removed and the tissue is checked
for cancer. If cancerous cells are detected, any remaining mole tissue
and sometimes the surrounding area is cut away. Moles may also be
entirely removed in one step with either a scalpel or a laser. Laser
removal tends to produce less scarring.