HAVE  you noticed how older people have spots on their skin? Age spots — also called liver spots and solar lentigines — are small dark areas on our skin. They vary in size and usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms — areas most exposed to the sun.

Age spots are very common in adults older than 50.

But younger people can get them too, especially if they spend a lot of time in the sun. Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light accelerates the production of melanin.

On the areas of skin that have had years of frequent and prolonged sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes “clumped” or is produced in high concentrations.

The use of commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to the development of age spots. Therefore, it is recommended that we limit exposure to the sun to help prevent age spots from becoming too prevalent.