Age Spot or Liver Spot

Liver spot or age spot (solar lentigo) is a dark discoloration of the skin caused by cumulative lifetime exposure to sunlight.

Despite of its name, liver spot has nothing to do with the liver.

Symptoms of Liver Spot

The symptoms of liver spot are:

  • Brown spots
  • Even in color
  • Flat in profile
  • Usually a fraction of an inch to half an inch in diameter

These spots most often occur on the face, arm, and legs and in other parts of the body that are exposed to the sun.

Who Gets It?

Most people get liver spots after middle age. The number and size of these spots increase as they age.

Prevention of Liver Spot

Liver spots can be prevented by:

  • Avoiding intense sun exposure and sunburns
  • Avoiding suntanning
  • Using lotion with high SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher
  • Wearing hats and protective clothings

Treatments for Liver Spots?

Liver spots are harmless and painless - however, for those who consider them cosmetically unappealing, the following are treatments for liver spots:

  • Over-the-counter whitening or fade creams containing 2% hydroquinone
  • Prescription-strength fade creams containing 4% hydroquinone
  • Cosmetics to cover and hide the spots
  • Freezing the spots with liquid nitrogen
  • Chemical peel
  • Laser treatment

Note that these spots may recur even with treatments.

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