Liver spots, also called age spots and sun spots, are flat, pigmented marks on the skin. They are usually benign and do not require medical attention, although many individuals with liver spots seek treatment to fade or remove the blemishes. Reducing one's risk factors for developing liver spots is the best way to avoid them.
Liver spots are caused by the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun stimulate the production of melanin (pigment that gives skin its color). Too much sun exposure may cause melanin to clump together, resulting in liver spots. Avoid excessive sun exposure and wear the proper protection when you're in the sun for an extended period of time. Wear sunscreen and the proper clothing to prevent sun damage. Wearing the proper clothing is difficult at the beach or at the pool, although wearing a hat while you are not in the water may help to shield the face and neck from the sun.
Fair skinned individuals are at greater risk of developing liver spots than dark skinned individuals. Individuals with light skin are encouraged to take extra precautions when in the sun. Many dermatologists recommend wearing a sunscreen that offers extra protection.
Working outdoors will naturally lead to increased sun exposure. Individuals who work outside should wear the proper clothing to avoid sun damage. A light long sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat may go a long way in preventing excessive sun exposure. Patients are encouraged to learn more about sun protection and risk factors for sun damage and its symptoms such as liver spots. A skincare professional is the best resource for further information.