Living with Lupus Erythematosus
Liver spots, despite their name, have nothing to do with the liver. They are also called age spots and, despite that name, are not caused by aging. Sun spots is a more accurate term for liver spots, as exposure to the sun and the extra production of melanin (pigment that gives skin its color) that may result is what primarily causes liver spots.
Sunscreen Since liver spots are caused by the extra production of melanin that results from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, taking the proper precautions against sun damage is important. One of the most common and most effective ways to prevent sun damage is by wearing sunscreen. Use at least a 15 SPF sunscreen, although many doctors recommend at least SPF 30 for fair skinned individuals who may be more prone to sunburn and sun damage, and sometimes higher. Apply the sunscreen about a half an hour before going into the sun and reapply as necessary. If you're going into the water, make sure that you get a waterproof sunscreen.
Proper Clothing Wearing the appropriate clothing for a day in the sun, or even a few hours in the sun, may go a long way in preventing sun damage. Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants and a hat for the most comprehensive protection. This may be difficult on days spent at the pool or at the beach. Wearing a hat, however, may be helpful in preventing sun damage on the face and neck.
Avoid the Sun Staying out of the sun completely is the best way to prevent liver spots and other symptoms of sun damage. Of course, this is almost impossible for most people, so taking the proper precautions and avoiding peak hours when the sun is at its most intense is recommended. The sun's rays are most intense from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. If you work outside, avoiding sun exposure during these hours may be difficult, so be sure to wear sunscreen and the proper clothing to avoid sun damage. Remember, symptoms of sun damage may not appear for years. Constant tanning and/or sunburns at younger ages may lead to liver spots and other symptoms of sun damage later. For more information about liver spots and sun damage, speak with a trained dermatologist or healthcare professional.