Liver Spots

Liver spots have nothing to do with the liver or liver disease. These flat brown or black spots often occur in sun exposed areas of the body. Sometimes they are known as age related spots or medically referred to as senile or solar lentignes. They are commonly seen on the face, shoulders, neck and upper back.

Liver spots are commonly seen as we age. Besides age, these spots have been linked to excess exposure to sun in youth. Liver spots are rare in the children but are quite common after the 4th decade of life.

The spots are not associated with any other feature like itch or redness. They are not painful. Many individuals believe they have a skin cancer when the spots first arise.

Once the spots develop, they usually remain. Liver spots are harmless and are only of a minor cosmetic concern. They do not require any treatment.

When removal is required, the spots can be removed with either laser therapy, surgery or cryotherapy (freezing).

Medical advice

There is always a concern that the skin lesion may be a cancer and a heightened awareness is required. You should see your physician if the skin lesion:

- suddenly changes color or gets darker

- rapidly increases in size

- Has irregular borders

- Starts to bleed or become necrotic

- Becomes painful

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