Age Spots, Sun Spots & Liver Spots
Age spots are
also known as sun spots, liver spots, lentigos, or lentigines. These
lesions are flat, tan, brown, or dark brown spots on sun-exposed
skin. As people age, sun spots most commonly appear on the backs
of the hands, the forearms, neck, chest, and face. Sun spots are
associated with cumulative sun exposure. The pigment producing cells
in the skin (called melanocytes) are activated to produce more pigment
(melanin) by ultraviolet rays. While these spots are not themselves
cancerous, you may be at risk for skin cancer if you have them.
What causes age
Age spots increase with
age and with increased sun exposure. They are more common in people
who freckle and who burn easily. It is important to know that if
you've had enough sun to develop age spots, you have a higher risk
of developing skin cancer.
What do age spots look like?
Age spots are flat and vary in size from a small pea to a dime.
They usually are somewhat round and have irregular borders. They
are found on chronically sun-exposed areas such as the shoulders,
upper back, face, forearms, and the back of hands.
What treatment options are available for age, sun or liver spots?
The best treatment for age
spots is prevention. The key to preventing age spots is sun avoidance
and daily sunscreen use. For example, you won’t find age spots
on your inner thigh because of minimal or no sun exposure. However,
for most of us, it is too late for prevention, and there are a number
of treatment options available.
Top Age Spot Treatment Options:
- » Find an Age Spot Removal Specialist
All photos courtesy of S. Zimmet, MD and P. Bitter Jr., MD