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What causes liver spots on the skin?

A:

Quick Answer

The main cause of liver spots is long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or commercial tanning lamps, explains Mayo Clinic. The lesions are common in adults over the age of 50 and appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin.

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Full Answer

Most liver spots appear on back of the hands, top of the feet, face, shoulders and upper back, explains Mayo Clinic. Treatment involves the use of medications that include prescription bleaching creams, retinoids, and steroid creams that fade the spots and take several months to work, according to Mayo Clinic. Other treatment options include laser and intense light therapy that destroys pigment-producing cells and does not damage the skin. This procedure requires several sessions and sometimes causes slight discoloration of the skin.

Cryotherapy is another procedure that helps reduce the appearance of liver spots. During this procedure a medical professional applies liquid nitrogen to the skin and destroys the extra pigment in the liver patch, explains Mayo Clinic. Dermabrasion is a procedure during which a rotating brush removes the top layer of the skin surface and a new skin layer grows in its place. A similar procedure is a chemical peel and involves the application of acid to the liver spot. The acid removes the top layer of the skin and exposes new, lighter skin.

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