Darks spots are darkly pigmented patches on the skin, also known as sun spots, liver spots, or age spots. Dark spots are a cosmetic concern that begins to appear around age 40. They most commonly appear on the face, backs of hands, upper chest, and shoulders, and are typically caused by years of sun exposure. Although, there are other common causes such as reaction to certain medications, pregnancy, or a symptom of specific skin diseases, such as melasma, Addison’s, or of the liver.
While dark spots are usually a harmless, aesthetic matter, it always pays to investigate whether other forms of damage might be present, as well. Because it can be easy to mistake a harmless brown spot for a pre-cancerous or cancerous skin lesions and vice versa, it is paramount to see your doctor for a skin exam and then have a skin cancer screening before self-diagnosing any of your brown spots as harmless.