Age spots, also known as liver spots, are flat, tan, brown or black spots that appear on the skin. They vary in size and are most commonly seen on the face, hands, shoulders and arms — areas that get the most sun exposure. You may associate age spots with adults over the age of 50, but young adults can get them as well, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun.
What Causes Age Spots?
Age spots are caused by years of exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, and using a tanning bed can also contribute to the development of age spots. The pigment in the upper layer of the skin that gives your skin its normal color is called melanin. When UV light comes in contact with the skin, the rays accelerate the production of melanin, creating a tan on the skin to help protect deeper layers of skin from damage caused by UV rays. Age spots appear on areas of the skin that have had frequent and prolonged sun exposure because the melanin is produced in particularly high concentrations.