Are liver spots really related to the liver?

Q. What are liver spots? Does getting them mean something is wrong with your liver?

Adam answers:

Liver spots are more commonly called age spots these days, because they generally happen when you are older and have been exposed to the sun over long periods as you age. At one time it was believed they were related to the liver, which is how they got the name liver spots, but that is not the case.

Age spots are spots of melanin clumped together to form a permanent brown or black patch on your skin. Melanin is the pigment that makes you look tan. In actuality, melanin attempts to protect you from sun damage. The more you are exposed to the sun over your life, the more often that pigment comes to the surface, and eventually it can lead to age spots. You can get age spots even if you’ve not been exposed to the sun much, but sun is clearly a factor, and those with high sun exposure are more likely to have them.