Should You Be Concerned About Liver Spots?

Liver spots are small, dark circles you see on your skin. While they’re also called age spots and very common in adults over fifty, young people can get them too. Liver spots are harmless and don’t need treatment. However, it’s important to distinguish between a liver spot and cancerous growth.

Liver Spots

Liver spots are the result of too much time in the sun, which is why they’re ordinarily on areas most exposed to sunlight.

How They Look:

  • Flat
  • Oval
  • Tan, brown, or black

Where They Appear:

  • Backs of hands
  • Tops of feet
  • Face
  • Shoulders
  • Upper back

Prevention Dos and Don’ts

As mentioned, liver spots are natural and there’s no reason to be concerned over them. However, there are methods you can take to prevent them from appearing.

Dos

Sunscreen

            Whether or not you have liver spots, wearing sunscreen is a must in Arizona. Sunscreen protects you from UV rays, skin cancer, discoloration, blotchiness and facial veins, and wrinkled skin.

Reduce Sun Exposure

Staying out of the sun does more than reduce liver spots. It can prevent skin cancer. Staying in the shade during midday hours and wearing sunglasses, hats, pants, and long-sleeved shirts can help. Just remember, you still need vitamin D from sunlight so don’t avoid it all together.

Don’ts

Lightening Creams

Skin-bleaching products advertise that they can lighten or remove liver spots. This is never recommended as it’s proven to have harmful effects.

When to Visit a Doctor

It’s important not to dismiss every spot as a liver spot. Some signs of skin cancer may look like liver spots, such as melanoma. Visit a doctor if a spot is/has:

  • Quickly increasing in size
  • Irregular borders
  • Unusual color combinations
  • Itchy
  • Red
  • Tender
  • Bleeding

Embracing Your Liver Spots

Liver spots, laugh lines, crow’s feet…they’re wonderful signs of how long you’ve experienced life. Consider them as normal as freckles. Like rings on a tree, the fact that they’re associated with age is only a plus.

Posted on April 10, 2018