Age spots, also known as sun spots and liver spots, are dark-colored marks that appear on areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure such as the face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and feet. They range in colour from light and dark brown, to grey and black and can be as small as a freckle or as large as a coin.
Because our skins restorative processes become weaker as we get older, age spots are more commonly seen after we hit age 40. However, excessive sun exposure at a young age can cause age spots to appear prematurely.
Despite the various terms associated with this condition, age spots are not directly related to aging or the liver. Sun spots are probably the most appropriate name for them as they are mainly caused by overexposure to the sun.
Primarily a cosmetic concern, age spots are not physiologically harmful or cancerous. However, people with age spots are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
Age spots can appear on a variety of skin tones, but are more commonly found on people with lighter skin complexions. Fairer skin types have a lower degree of melanin in their bodies which means they have less natural protection from the sun.
There are a variety of procedures available to treat age spots. The type of treatment that is best for you depends on the level of your skin condition and what kind of aesthetic goals you wish to achieve. After a detailed skin assessment your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment.