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Brown Liver Spots on the Face and Skin - Causes Prevention and Removal

Updated on July 13, 2016

Pigmentation of the Skin Forms Brown Spots

Liver spots also known as "Solar lentigo", "Lentigo senilis", "Old age spots", "Senile freckle" "brown spots". Liver spots are flat, brown-black spots that usually appear on the skin in sun-exposed areas of the body. The shape includes a sharply defined, rounded, brown or black, flat patch of skin.It is not irritable at all, however it can often be considered unsightly.

Parts of the body affected by Liver Spots

Areas particularly affected include the face and the backs of the hands. In addition areas of exposure to sunlight can result in liver spots forming on the forehead, shoulders, and forearms. The dark spots appear normally at later stages of life. Liver spots form due to the result of hyperpigmentation or pigmentation changes within the skins top layer.

You do not have to old to get liver spots

This apparent sign of aging has no connection to faults with a persons liver. They also pose no significant health risk to the person afflicted with these spots. The reason why these large brown spots have been called “old age spots” remains due to the fact that they generally tend to affect people over 40 years old. Not old by any means and the name appears rather unflattering. However many people consider these spots a sign of aging yet this excludes other possible factors.

Liver spots appearing on the hand
Liver spots appearing on the hand

How are liver spots formed?

The epidermis (top surface layer of skin) begins to expand with an increase in the amounts of pigment becoming allocated to the expansion. This pigment creates the darker area of skin commonly seen in liver spots. They can appear singularly or in small clusters.

Liver spots a sign of aging or something else?

It’s commonly accepted that people have a hereditary predisposition to developing liver spots even in childhood. However the main stage of the development of liver spots includes people over 40 years old, or those who have spent long durations in exposed sunlight.

However emotional distress may impact the afflicted due to their somewhat unsightly appearance. This suffering may become exacerbated by the sufferer’s unsympathetic partner or family.

Unfortunately liver spots may cover up areas that have been affected by skin cancers. It always advisable to speak with your doctor if you have any concerns or fears about liver spots as your doctor will reassure you all’s ok.

How to prevent liver spots

  • By wearing protective clothing including hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants. Any item of clothing that protects your skin from sunlight will suffice.
  • Use sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure at midday, as this is when sunlight becomes most intense.
  • Use high-quality sunscreens, preferably with sun protection factor (SPF) ratings of at least 15. Apply sunscreen at least a half hour before exposure, and reapply often.
  • Use sunscreen in the winter, too as winter sun on unaccustomed winter skin can cause additional sun damage.

A sign of aging includes the necessity of protecting the skin.

Areas affected by liver spots

The most common areas of the body include:

  • Backs of the hands
  • Face
  • Forearms
  • Forehead
  • Shoulders

When to seek medical advice about Liver Spots

If you want the spots removed a Doctor, or dermasurgeon, will advise you of the correct procedure and if the elimination of the liver spot’s possible.

Ways to remove Liver Spots

Simple freezing (cryotherapy) or laser treatment can be used to destroy the cosmetic appearance of liver spots. In addition bleaching creams, Tretinoin, and Alha-Hydroxy acids offer a bleaching capability for liver spot removal. Peeling off the spots after a chemical solution has been applied remains a solution too. However the affected skin area requires several weeks to heal properly.

Dermabrasion gently rubs the spot with a special instrument with the added bonus of removing the liver spot and a reduced healing term in contrast to the peeling technique.

If you notice a change in the colour, shape, or size of the Liver Spot seek medical advice to ensure everything appears normal. As the body changes a sign of aging of the skin indicates the need for greater protection against sunlight.

Did you find Liver Spots A Sign of Aging Hyperpigmentation and How To Get Rid of Brown Spots useful?

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    • johndwilliams profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Essex England

      Thank you I am pleased you liked this Hub - thanks John

    • lilypjmom2122 profile image


      9 years ago from Minnesota

      Interesting Hub..thanks for sharing :)

    • johndwilliams profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Essex England

      Thanks Bob this ties into the hereditary theme - there not so bad more like a matured wine than a spoilt beer - that's my way of looking at it - John

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I liked this hub because it told me a few things I didn't know about the condition, which all male members of my family have suffered from. But I couldn't be bothered to try getting rid of them and only shallow people would think less of me because of them. Bob


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