Liver spots are flat, pigmented areas on the skin that may also be referred to as age spots and sun spots. As they are caused by exposure to the sun, sun spots is perhaps the most accurate name for the condition, although some still refer to them as liver spots. While liver spots are not a medical concern in most cases, many seek treatment to face or remove liver spots.
Getting Ready for Your Appointment
Before an appointment to discuss treatments for liver spots, make sure that you have a general understanding of the condition. This will help you prepare questions for the skincare professional as you research the condition.
Liver spots, despite their name, are not caused by liver disease and have nothing to do with the liver. They are more prominent with age, although age does not cause the condition. The sun's ultraviolet rays stimulate the production of melanin (the pigment giving skin its color), which may lead to the formation of liver spots. SkinCareGuide.com offers further information about liver spots that may be helpful as you prepare for your appointment.
Write Down Your Questions
Take advantage of the opportunity you have to discuss the condition with a trained, licensed skincare professional. Take a few minutes to write down your questions so that you don't forget them. Since you already know that liver spots are caused by sun exposure, you can discuss other topics like risk factors and genetic factors that may make you more prone to liver spots and whether extra melanin produced as you age may have something to do with the blemishes.
Most patients also ask how they can prevent future liver spots from forming and if the marks are at all related to skin cancer. While liver spots are not a sign of skin cancer, they may be a sign that you are at a greater risk of skin cancer. Since both liver spots and skin cancer are caused by over exposure to the sun, patients with liver spots should be screened for skin cancer. Of course, patients should speak with a skincare professional regarding skin cancer, screenings and whether liver spots may make you more susceptible to the disease.
The skincare professional will probably ask you a few questions about the liver spots. They may ask when you first noticed them, how much time you spend in the sun presently and how much time you spent in the sun in the past. They may also recommend that you be screened for skin cancer, especially if there is a family history of cancer.