Hyperpigmentation : Age Spots, Sunspots, Liver Spots

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 



A common disease known as hyperpigmentation causes some skin parts to be darker than others. Spots or patches with excess melanin appear brown, black, grey, red, or pink. The areas are not unpleasant or uncomfortable, but they could make people feel self-conscious. Many dietary and lifestyle modifications, like wearing sunscreen and taking care of your skin, might be beneficial.

Hyperpigmentation: What is it?

Various names for the spots include Hyperpigmentation age spots, liver spots, and sunspots. A common disease known as hyperpigmentation causes some parts of the skin to be darker than others. The terms “hyper” and “pigment” both refer to quantity.

Hyperpigmented age spots or patches might be brown, black, grey, red, or pink in appearance.

The spots may show up anywhere on the body or just in one region.

Hyperpigmentation : age spots, sunspots, liver spots

The hyperpigmentation known as sunspots, also known as age spots and liver spots, is frequent and usually unharmful. They most frequently manifest in those over the age of fifty. However, no known scientific or medical rationale has been found for why certain persons are more prone to the development of hyperpigmentation sunspots than others. Sunspots may be more likely to develop on those with poor skin pigmentation (pale skin), blonde or light-colored hair, light-colored eyes, and those who frequently use tanning beds or the sun. 

Sunspot sufferers typically have skin areas that are:

Colored dark, tan, or brown Flat (not elevated like a mole)

In general, sunspots develop on the face, chest, shoulders, back, arms, and hands because these areas have been exposed to the most ultraviolet (UV) light or sun. Sunspots can also be brought on by an increase in the quantity of melanocytes or cells that make melanin.

Are sunspots a worry?

Sunspots are usually benign. However, they have the same potential to progress to skin cancer as their relatives, the freckle and the mole. Regular dermatology visits are crucial, especially if skin cancer runs in your family. Sunspot, freckle, or mole skin cancer symptoms and indicators include:

Your dermatologist can identify sunspots with a normal, non-invasive examination. A biopsy of the region may be taken by your dermatologist if there is a chance that a sunspot is malignant. During a biopsy, a sample of the skin and underlying tissue is removed or excised and submitted to a lab for analysis. A MOH procedure, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and additional excision or removal of the tissue are among the treatment options if the results are skin cancer-positive. Non-cancerous sunspots don’t need to be treated and normally won’t be harmful to your health.

Who is susceptible to hyperpigmentation?

Anyone can develop hyperpigmentation, regardless of color or ethnicity.

Why does hyperpigmentation occur?

The pigment melanin, which skin cells generate, is what gives skin its colour. When those skin cells are damaged or ill, they may produce an excessive amount of melanin. It could appear darker because the melanin may gather there.

Other causes of hyperpigmentation are numerous

Hyperpigmentation - Dermatologic Disorders - MSD Manual Professional Edition

Do symptoms of hyperpigmentation exist?

Hyperpigmentation doesn’t have any symptoms other than dark areas. Consult a dermatologist (skin specialist) or your primary care physician if you experience skin spots along with any other symptoms.

How is the diagnosis of hyperpigmentation made?

The way that hyperpigmentation is handled

To lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation or to correct color, a variety of hyperpigmentation spot treatment techniques are available. While there are homeopathic treatments for sunspots, including vitamins and mild dermatologic acids, they are not always effective and may only offer short-term relief. Non-cancerous sunspots don’t require treatment, but there are best hyperpigmentation spot treatments available to remove them for aesthetic purposes.

How can hyperpigmentation be avoided?

Although hyperpigmentation cannot always be avoided, avoiding the sun’s rays can help:

How much time will I be hyperpigmented?

A lifelong condition, hyperpigmentation. Some black spots can be removed or lessened with treatment for liver spots. But it could take them a few months or a year to start working. And over time, new blemishes may develop, particularly if you don’t use sun protection.

How can I deal with liver spots, age spots, sun spots, and other hyperpigmented conditions?

You might feel self-conscious if hyperpigmentation appears on your skin.

Do I ever need to see a doctor for my hyperpigmentation?

You should see a doctor, like a dermatologist if your skin exhibits any of the following conditions:

Although hyperpigmentation cannot always be stopped or prevented from growing more pronounced, there are certain strategies to lower the risk. This is possible by:

Sun protection must be worn every day. Pick one of them with an SPF of 30 or more 30 that is “broad spectrum” (blocks UVA and UVB rays).

Before using creams to lighten dark patches, obtain professional advice, as doing so could have side effects. Avoid using skin-lightening treatments to make the complexion lighter.


Hyperpigmentation is a frequent skin condition that can develop for a variety of causes. A few different types of hyperpigmentation include age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Even though hyperpigmentation is generally harmless, some people could prefer to get rid of it or minimize it. Two options are to stay out of the sun and to use removal techniques such as cosmetic surgeries, creams, and home remedies.

A person should consult a doctor for help if they also have other symptoms in addition to hyperpigmentation.

A dermatologist can guide the most effective treatment options if someone wants to address hyperpigmentation for cosmetic reasons.

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