Seeing Spots: Brown, Liver, Age and Sun Spots

Sun spots are caused by excess sun exposure and can be best removed by cryotherapy and laser treatments.

Veronica Lake

Recently, while I was in Providence, RI my father-in-law pointed to the flurry of brown spots on the back of his hand and asked, “Are these liver spots?”

They’re not liver spots or age spots. Brown spots on the back of your hands are sun spots caused from excess sun exposure and aging. They have nothing to do with your liver.

They appear most commonly on the back of your hands, your face, and your forearms and are usually benign. The best prevention against developing sun spots is sunscreen and clothing.

The best treatments for removing sun spots are cryotherapy (having a dermatologist freeze them off with liquid nitrogen) or laser treatments. Bleaching creams and Retin-A do little to remove sun spots, while at-home treatments such as lemon juice and baking soda scrubs do nothing. Once the spots are removed, you must wear sunscreen or they’ll come back.

Or you could do like Veronica Lake did and wear glamorous long cotton or silk gloves. Course I don’t think I’ll recommend that to my father-in-law.

Photo credit: FCC, RobertHuffStutter

6 thoughts on “Seeing Spots: Brown, Liver, Age and Sun Spots”

  1. Brown spots are such a nasty thing, specially when on face. Got a ton myself, and can’t really afford the treatment for getting them off. Just a quick question doc, are freckles and sun spots the same thing? because I get this asked a lot of times, if what I have are freckles, sun spots or age spots(shudder). Thanks for the help

  2. A freckle results from sun damage so it would be accurate to say that freckles and sun spots are the same. Solar lentigos are also sun spots and often are called liver spots. Just to be more confusing. 🙂

  3. Hi! Do you have an email address I could contact you through? I tried messaging you on your facebook page, but couldn’t get it to cooperate.
    Thank you!

  4. Sure. It’s on my about page at the top of the blog.

  5. OzzieMillie says:

    I am now 50 and the sun damage was such, I ended up going to a dermatologist, where they did several very expensive laser treatments to the dark spots, along with proactive dark spot remover and another expensive spot remover the dermatologist sold to me. I did some research after my treatments, and I found the Lady Soma Renewal Serum. As I am now 50, and I have very sensitive-fair skin, along with sun damage, but within days of using the Lady Soma Renew Serum again,there was a marked difference with lightening of the darker spots on my hands and arms, and my face looks more refined and even toned. I stopped using the dark spot remover as I have not needed it. I never got these types of great results from laser treatments. I now use the Lady Soma Renew Serum (on face only) 2 x per day, and 5 days per week. I take 2 days off.

  6. I’m not familiar with that, Ozzie, but thanks for sharing your experience and recommendations here. I’m sure many people will find it helpful.

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