Liver spots are blemishes on the skin associated with aging and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. They are also known as age spots, sun spots, lentigos, or senile/solar lentigines. They range in color from light brown to red or black and are located in areas most often exposed to the sun, particularly the hands, face, shoulders, arms and forehead, and the head if bald. Liver spots are not related to the liver physiologically, but do have a similar color. It was once believed, incorrectly, that liver spots were due to liver problems.
From the age of 40 onwards the skin is less able to regenerate from sun exposure, and liver spots are very common in this age group, particularly in those who spend time in the sunshine. They have been known to proliferate in some individuals under emotional distress.
In the vast majority of cases liver spots pose no threat, and no treatment is necessary. Occasionally, they have been known to obscure the detection of skin cancer.
Some people wish to have these spots removed as they consider them unsightly; this can be done by cryotherapy or laser treatment.