Skin cancer or age spots? (Photos)

I'm 32 years old and have light brown spots on my hand and arm. They are flat, painless, and not scaly. The ones on my hand and arm by my elbow are smaller and the one by my wrist is a little bigger.

Doctor Answers 6

Likely sunspots but please get them looked at

Dear Megs

Thank you for your enquiry and pictures. As my colleagues have said these are likely to be sunspots or possibly benign moles.

I would advise that you seek the advice of your family doctor who will I am certain reassure you that all is well.

Kind Regards 

Dr Maini 


London Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Non cancerous age spots

These look like age spots and not pigmented solar keratosis (pre skin cancer). A close examination by a dermatologist will give you the most accurate answer. 

These can be treated with simple liquid nitrogen, or better still lasers. Creams will have no impact on these spots. All the best, Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Brown spots - skin cancer?

Brown spots are generally related to sun exposure. Likewise, most skin cancer is the direct result of sun exposure (and/or tanning bed radiation). From your photos, it appears that your risk of skin cancer on those locations is low, however, a careful exam by a specialist in skin cancer would be advised if you have concerns. For all of us: mid day sun precautions/cover, routine sunscreen, and regular skin checks - are important for preventing/catching early skin cancer. Hope this is helpful.

David Hartman, MD, FACS
Canton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Ligihtly pigmented spots on hands and wrists

Hello 

Hi there and thank you for the question. 

From your age and the pictures it does appear that these spots are benign; it would be  very unlikely that they are sinister however an internet photo is never going to be sufficient to make an accurate diagnosis and it would be  best to be seen and fully assessed by an experienced specialist used to assessing these types of lesions including dermatoscopy. 

I hope that you found this information helpful.

Best wishes

Tariq Ahmad, MBBChir, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Brown spots

In all probability, these are benign hyperpigmentation spots.  However, like I tell all my patients, no one can tell with 100% certainty if these spots are pre-cancerous or cancerous.  Only with a good history and examination followed by a biopsy can you be certain that this is not cancer.   Please go and get checkeed! 

Guy Cappuccino, MD
Mount Airy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Skin Cancer/Age Spots: See an Expert--Dermatologist

My suggestion is to make an appointment with a dermatologist. You need a full evaluation/skin check to ensure these are benign spots.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.