Age spots, sometimes mistakenly called liver spots, are small, flat dark skin discolorations that occur on several places on the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. They are often most noticeable on the face, hands and chest. They are the result of exposure to the sun over the course of years or decades, and often occur in people older than age 40. They may resemble early skin cancer growths, but they are actually harmless. There are many methods available that can lighten age spots, including salicylic acid, which is commonly used to remove calluses.

Using Callus Remover to Treat Age Spots

Callus removers come in two primary forms–manual scrapers and chemical agents. Manual scrapers are not suitable for removing age spots. Because age spots are flat, they are at the same level as the rest of the skin. Scrapers are designed to remove thickened or raised skin. If improperly used on age spots, scrapers can cause bleeding and can possibly introduce infection.

Chemical treatments often include a number of ingredients including salicylic acid and urea. The Mayo Clinic classifies urea as a humectant, or an agent that helps the skin in absorbing and holding water. Urea can be effective in softening rough, thickened skin of calluses. However, since age spots are not thickened or usually rough, urea is not the most effective treatment for them.

Another treatment for calluses uses salicylic acid in varying concentrations. The most powerful treatments contain up to 40 percent salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a skin peeling agent. It stimulates the natural process of skin regeneration by accelerating the process of removing old cells from the surface of the skin. Newer cells replace the old cells. Salicylic acid treats calluses by accelerating the removal of rough, dry skin and exposing the newer, presumably healthy skin underneath.

Salicylic acid can also work to remove age spots by accelerating the process of removing the hyper-pigmented skin and exposing new skin, which is often the same tone as the surrounding skin. This process can take weeks or even months before noticeable improvement occurs. Salicylic acid can be irritating to skin, especially at higher concentrations. It is also important to protect skin from further sun exposure, which can cause age spots to reappear.