The darkened blotches on the face, hands, or chest called 'age spots' are usually a result of sun exposure that induces pigment changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the use of birth-control pills can also cause these spots to develop. Age spots can be treated through several methods, including chemical peels and laser procedures. A chemical peel is a controlled burn of the skin using certain acids. Peels range from light to medium to deep, depending on the type and concentration of acid used. The deeper the peel, the more spots are likely to be reduced and the longer results tend to last. Another solution is to 'burn' off individual spots with a laser. The procedure is quick and typically involves minimal pain. The burned areas crust over and peel after a few days. Sometimes, more than one treatment is required, but once completed, spots are usually much lighter or even invisible. However, new spots can form, especially if you don't protect your skin from the sun. To reduce the reappearance of spots, wear daily sun block and avoid sun exposure. A doctor may also suggest the use of products with alpha hydroxy (hy-DROX-see) acids, Retin-A, or bleaching agents.