Are Liver Spots Cancerous?
Liver spots, also called age spots, is a skin discoloration disorder attributed to the aging process. Medically called Lentigo, liver spots are generally benign. This means that liver spots are non-cancerous in nature and can easily be prevented and treated. Age spots are distinct brown patches on the skin normally found at the back of the hands, the face and other areas of the skin which are normally exposed to the sun. These brown spots are more of a cosmetic problem rather than a health concern.
Aside from the aging process, liver spots also occur due to various reasons such as excessive exposure to the heat of the sun, poor dietary practice, lack of exercise, liver function problems and regular consumption of food that are rich in free radicals that damage the body in the cellular level. Heredity also plays a significant part. If a patient’s parents has liver spots, then the patient is more likely to develop them also as he or she ages. People in tropical countries or countries with extreme summer months are more prone to liver spots than people who are living in cold and temperate regions.
Liver spots are often mistaken as Actinic Keratosis. Actinic Keratosis is a pre-cancerous skin disorder which needs immediate medical attention. However, you can distinguish a liver spot from an AK by its color. Liver spots are dark brown in color while keratoses are red lesions.
Preventing Liver Spots
There are certain precautions that you can undertake to prevent liver spots from developing on your skin. The easiest preventive measure is to avoid prolonged exposure in the sun. When in the beach or out on the streets at noontime, always use a big umbrella. You can also use sunscreen to protect the exposed areas of your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Caring for your liver is also another way to prevent liver spots, according to some. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and healthy such as vegetables and fruit. You should also limit your consumption of trans-fat and alcohol for your liver to be able to function at its optimum performance.
Medical experts advise people with dark liver spots, dark freckles and moles to consult a physician and undergo a skin biopsy for the early and accurate diagnosis of the skin discoloration. As always, any unusual changes in your skin such as the asymmetry, border and color of moles or freckles should be checked by a dermatologist.