Age spots—also known as sunspots or liver spots—are small, flat brown, gray or black spots on the skin. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Age spots occur when the top surface layer of skin expands with more pigment and develops what looks like a large freckle. An age spot may appear by itself, or a few may be clustered together.
According to the American Academy of Dermatologic Surgery, “Some people have a hereditary predisposition to age spots. Age spots may develop at an early age, even in childhood, though they are more common in older people, especially in those who have spent too much time in the sun.”
Age spots are not cancerous growths, but indicate that the sun has received a lot of sun exposure and are an attempt to protect itself from more sun damage.