Age spots or liver spots – medically referred to as solar lentigines – are small, round skin discolorations that are found on the skin, particularly on the face and hands. Although age spots most commonly occur in individuals over the age of 40, they can also be present on younger skin. Whether speckling the young or old, age spots have a definite aging effect, especially on the hands where they can be quite noticeable.
Age spots are common and can be identified by certain characteristics, such as:
Shape. Oval in shape, they can be small (freckle-like) or more than half an inch across.
Color. Most commonly have a brown pigmentation, but can also be black or grey.
Location. Tend to appear in areas that get the most sun exposure (face, back of hands, tops of feet, shoulder area). They can also cluster, making the patch of discoloration seem even larger and more prominent.
Age spots may be obvious on the skin, but they are absolutely harmless and do not indicate any disease or malignancy, such as melanoma (skin cancer). However, any changes in the skin should be monitored, especially if sudden. It is highly advisable to consult a dermatologist if any of the following is true:
The spot appeared suddenly
The spot is growing rapidly
The spot is changing shape, color, or texture
The spot has irregular borders
You experience bleeding, itching, or other unusual irritation around the spot
Our Arizona board certified dermatologist can examine and evaluate your skin discolorations, spots, and moles to confirm that they are benign. For those who would like to lighten their liver spots, Dr. Dyson can treat their skin spots, employing the most effective cosmetic treatments currently available. After treatment, patients can look forward to more even skin tone and renewed, radiant, youthful skin!