Health Guide

Aging spots - should you be concerned?

Alternative Names

Age spot concerns


Aging spots, also called liver spots, are very common. They are most often not a cause for worry. They typically develop in people with fair complexions, but people with darker skin can also get them.

Aging spots are flat and oval and tan, brown, or black marks. They appear on skin that has been the most exposed to sun over the years, such as the backs of hands, tops of feet, face, shoulders, and upper back.

Always let your health care provider know if you have any new or unusual spots, and have them checked. Skin cancers may have many different appearances. Spots or sores related to skin cancers can be:

  • Small, shiny, or waxy
  • Scaly and rough
  • Firm and red
  • Crusty or bleeding

Skin cancers can also have other features.


Hosler GA, Patterson JW. Lentigines, nevi, and melanomas. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 32.

James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Melanocytic nevi and neoplasms. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 30.

Review Date: 5/14/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.