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How to Lighten Dark Areas on the Hand

by Mimi Bullock, studioD

As you age, melanin in the skin responds differently to sun damage, and the evidence of this cellular repair shows up as age spots. If left unprotected, spots will continue to darken. If you have noticed dark spots on your hands, you can use topical treatments to lighten them. There is no quick fix or cure for hyperpigmentation, but faithful sunscreen use can keep spots under control.

Exfoliate your hands with a body scrub product or loofah. Sloughing away dull skin regularly will make the skin more receptive to skin-lightening treatments. Limit exfoliation treatments to once a week to avoid damaging the skin.

Dab a skin cream that contains hydroquinine over the affected area. Hydroquinine attacks the melanin, reducing the appearance of uneven skin tone. Apply the cream only to the dark spots; these types of creams should not be used as an all-over body cream. According to "Self" magazine, the FDA regards this ingredient as a safe skin product, but some physicians disagree. Check with your physician before initiating a skin-lightening treatment that includes hydroquinine.

Prevent age spot outbreaks by applying melanin-controlling creams to the hands every day. Look for products that contain enzymes such as N-acetyl glucosamine, which inhibits melanin production and helps to keep brown spots away. Such products might be labeled as skin tone correctors or dark spot treatments. Consult a dermatologist for prescription-strength options.

Apply sunscreen to your hands daily, especially when you plan to spend time in the sun. Everyday tasks like placing your hands on the steering wheel can leave the hands exposed to the sun for long periods.

Use a night hand cream that contains retinol before you go to sleep. This ingredient stimulates cell growth, an important factor in keeping the skin looking youthful. If you cannot find a hand cream that meets your needs, use a face cream with retinol.

Items you will need
  •  Body scrub
  •  Loofah
  •  Hydroquinine skin cream
  •  L-acetyl glucosamine cream
  •  Sunscreen
  •  Retinol night cream


  • Treat hand spots immediately, before they darken.
  • You may have to wait as long as six months to see results.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images