Exposure to the sun may cause liver spots in many individuals. Liver spots are also referred to as sun spots and age spots, and may be more prominent with age, although they are not caused by getting older. For those embarrassed by liver spots, treatments are available that help fade them and make them less noticeable.

Appearance of Liver Spots

Liver spots appear as flat pigmented marks on the skin. They may appear anywhere on the body, although they are most common on sun exposed areas such as the back of the hands, the face, the neck and the arms. Individuals who spend a lot of time outdoors, such as those who work outdoors, may be more susceptible to liver spots than others. Fair skinned individuals may also be at greater risk of liver spots.

Color

Liver spots are usually gray, brown or black. They are not related in any way to the liver, although their color may resemble that of the liver.

Skin Cancer and Liver Spots

Liver spots are not a sign of skin cancer, although patients with liver spots may be at greater risk of developing skin cancer. Both conditions are caused by exposure to the sun, so patients who spent enough time in the sun to develop liver spots should also be screened for skin cancer as a precaution. While liver spots are usually benign, patients are always encouraged to have new skin growths or changes to existing skin growths examined by a physician. Sores that do not heal should also be checked out by a physician. While various skincare professionals are qualified to treat liver spots, patients with questions about skin cancer should consult a physician.