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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dermatology & Skin Care > Age Spot Treatment

Age Spot Treatment Cost


How Much Does Age Spot Treatment Cost?

 
low costPrescription Cream or Gel: $40-$200average costChemical Peel: $100-$500high costMicrodermabrasion or Skin Resurfacing: $100-$5,000+
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Age spots[1] , also known as liver spots, are dark spots of varying sizes that appear on the parts of the body most often exposed to the sun. Though age spots are harmless and do not cause other symptoms or health problems, they can successfully be lightened or removed to alleviate cosmetic concerns. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, limiting sun exposure may be the easiest way to avoid age spots.

Typical costs:

  • Because age spots can be confused with skin cancer, those who experience changes in the skin typically start with an office visit to a dermatologist. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for visiting a dermatologist will typically consist of a doctor visit copay of $5 -$30 or more, or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. For patients without health insurance, an office visit typically costs $50-$200 or more.
  • The first step in lightening age spots is typically to use hydroquinone[2] , which decreases melanin in the skin. Prescription creams and gels contain at least 4% hydroquinone and typically cost $40 -$200, depending on whether the patient buys a name brand or its generic equivalent. For example, EpiQuin Micro[3] costs $110. To hasten the lightening process, a doctor may also prescribe a tretinoin or a corticosteroid. Drugstore.com charges about $50 for a tube of generic tretinoin cream[4] and almost $150 for the brand-name equivalent.
  • Because treating age spots is not medically necessary, most insurers will not cover drugs or procedures used to treat it. However, 2% hydroquinone creams are available over the counter. These typically range in cost $5-$40 or more. For example, Garnier's clinical dark spot corrector[5] costs $17.
  • If a topical medicine does not work, physical treatments may succeed in eliminating spots. These include procedures such as a chemical peel, which typically costs $100- $500, depending on the center and where it is located. For example, at Prolase Medspa and laser center[6] in Glendale, CA, a chemical peel for age spots typically costs $245.
  • Other procedures include microdermabrasion and dermabrasion which can cost up to $2,000 or more, depending on the number of sessions needed. And in severe cases, laser resurfacing may be used. The procedure can cost $100-$5,000, depending on how much of the skin is treated, the type of laser used, the individual center and its regional location. For example, at Elements Laser Spa[7] in Texas, spot removal starts at $100 per 20-minute session; at Schweiger Dermatology[8] in New York City, a laser treatment can cost $4,000 including consult fees, visit fees, anesthesia and medication.
Related articles: Biopsy, Melasma Treatment

What should be included:
  • According to the Mayo Clinic[9] , a dermatologist may be able to diagnose age spots on sight.
  • To rule out other possible conditions, a doctor may order additional tests, such as a skin biopsy[10] , which is typically done in a doctor's office under local anesthesia.
Additional costs:
  • Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 can help to prevent age spots and is also advised for patients who use hydroquinone, which makes skin more sensitive to the sun. Sunscreens typically range in cost from $5-$30 or more, like L'Oreal Sublime Sun Face Lotion, SPF 50A[11] , which costs $11 at drugstore.com.
Discounts:
  • Outlets such as Costco[12] and Walmart[13] often sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs at significant savings. Walmart, for example, has a prescription drug program[14] that includes certain generic drugs at commonly prescribed dosages.
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured or cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[15] in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. They'll also be offered an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of receiving a bill.
Shopping for age spot treatment:
  • The American Academy of Dermatology has a search tool[16] to help patients search for dermatologists nearby for free
  • The Mayo Clinic offers questions[17] to ask their dermatologist.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/age-spots/DS00912/
  2.  www.drugs.com/cdi/hydroquinone-cream.html
  3.  www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/epiquin-micro
  4.  www.drugs.com/cdi/tretinoin-cream.html
  5.  www.garnierusa.com/_en/_us/our_products/product.aspx?Tpcode=OUR_PRODUCTS^PRD_SKINC...
  6.  prolaseclinic.com/spa-services-los-angeles/chemical-peel/
  7.  www.elementslaserspa.com/services/laser-sun-spot-removal/
  8.  www.nyccosmeticdermatology.com/laserwrinkletreatment.htm
  9.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/age-spots/DS00912/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis
  10.  www.webmd.com/cancer/skin-biopsy
  11.  www.drugstore.com/loreal-sublime-sun-face-lotion-spf-50/qxp381068?catid=159098
  12.  www.costco.com/
  13.  www.walmart.com/cp/pharmacy/5431
  14.  www.walmart.com/cp/1078664
  15.  www.sjo.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Bill/Self-Pay-Discount-Program.aspx
  16.  www.aad.org/for-the-public/home
  17.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/age-spots/DS00912/DSECTION=preparing-for-your-appointment
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