What Are Liver Spots, Or Age Spots, And Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Them From Appearing?

Dr. McDonald answers the question: 'What are Liver Spots, Can I Prevent Them?'

February 20, 2009 -- Question: What are liver spots, or age spots, and is there anything I can do to prevent them from appearing?

Answer: Liver spots or age spots are the brown spots that develop over time. They're very common on the face, they're very common on the back of the hands, and they're very common on the scalp of men as they're balding. Most important thing you can do to prevent them is wear sunscreen, at least an SPF 15 that's broad-based and covers UVA and UVB.

Most of the time liver spots are benign. But they aren't always and they're also a sign of sun damage. So if you have multiple ones, you do want to have your skin checked to make sure that they are all benign and that none are malignant. They can be treated with bleaching creams and they can also be treated with lasers. While you want to prevent them they can be treated once they occur.


Do you have more questions about skin care, skin protection and your aging body? Visit the ABCNews.com OnCall+ Wellness Center to get your answers.