Age spots on the face: Causes and Treatments

age spots

I don’t want clear and healthy skin, said no one ever. However, expectations and reality have stark differences. Attaining gorgeous skin isn’t easy, at least not for everyone. It comes with several roadblocks. Are you noticing tan, black or brown coloured spots on your skin? These are known as age spots, and we’ll explore this topic in detail in the blog. 

What are Age Spots?

They are forms of discolouration (hyperpigmentation) that can appear in small areas on your face, hands and other parts of your body. Have you heard terms like liver spots, sun spots, solar lentigines or senile lentigo? These are all different names for age spots. 

Causes of Age Spots

They can appear on your body due to excess production of melanin or skin pigment. It (melanin) is a natural sunscreen that protects the skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. In simple terms, overexposure to the sun is a common reason for age spots. 

A Few Other Reasons For Age Spots


There is also a genetic factor that plays a role. If your parents or someone in your family has or had age spots, then there are high chances that you might have age spots as well.

Hormonal Factor

In pregnant women, a rise in hormonal levels triggers excess melanin production resulting in dark patches around the face, commonly referred to as “pregnancy mask.”


It is most commonly seen in people above the age of 40 because the skin loses its potential to regenerate after this point. However, it can appear earlier as well. 

How Can You Prevent Age Spots?

  • Being Cautious When You are Outdoors

As the sun’s rays are intense from 10 a.m till 3 p.m, avoid going out during this time. 

  • Sunscreen

Come what may never forget applying sunscreen. Even if you do not have age spots, you still have to use it. Choose a sunscreen that’s suitable for your skin type along with an SPF number ideal for your requirements. 

  • Extra Protection

Physically protect your skin from these harmful rays, cover your face and hands when outdoors. Also, hats, caps and an umbrella can be useful. 

Treatments Options For Age Spots

There are various forms of treatment available, both invasive and non-invasive. Your doctor will examine your condition and suggest the one that will work best for you. We will discuss some of them here.  

  • Intense pulsed light treatment 

In this treatment, laser technology aids in killing the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) without destroying the skin.

  • Dermarolling

Derma Rollers are devices that have a roller with tiny needles. It is used on the skin in case of pigmentation as it helps in shedding the top layer of the skin and reduces as well as eliminates dark spots. 

  • Laser Treatment

High energy light beams help kill unwanted skin cells. It helps in reducing age spots associated with any kind of pigmentation. 

  • Chemical Peels

It helps remove the outer layer of your skin so new skin can grow in its place.

  • Cryosurgery

Under this process, liquid nitrogen helps freeze individual age spots. 

After treatment, always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV (ultraviolet) damage and help it heal faster. 

Summing Up

Age spots are a prevalent issue and usually nothing to worry about. Though it is better to be cautious if it changes appearance, colour, or you notice anything else. Talk to your dermatologist to stay safe, as it could be the starting sign of malignant growth. They are treatable, and early diagnosis can help get rid of them. Also, it can, at times, be emotionally distressing. Hence, care for your physical health as well as mental health.  


1. Do age spots on the face go away?

Yes, age spots can go away with proper care and treatment. Therefore, if you notice any such development, speak to a dermatologist. 

2. Why are age spots referred to as liver spots?

Since they were assumed to be caused by a malfunctioning liver, they were known as liver spots. The colour brown or red could also be a reason as it resembles the colour of the liver. 

3. When should you worry about age spots?

You should worry about age spots if you experience changes in shape, size or colour. Apart from this, for any troubling change, do inform your doctor. 

4. What causes brown spots on the face? 

It can be due to the overproduction of melanin. However, consult with a doctor to know the exact cause. 



Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.