ELI5-Why do people get spots on their body as they age?

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Are they spots where blood has a harder time getting to, or something completely random?

In: 14

There’s actually a lot of reasons where people get spots on their body as they age. A big part of this is just genetics expressing over time. It really depends what you mean.

Birthmarks are obviously there from birth, but grow larger as well, people grow larger. Moles can exist from an early age and also can expand. Scars can accumulate over time.

But you can also have Campbell de Morgan spots, which manifest as red nubs on the skin, but are largely benign. Or “liver spots” which are actually (to my understanding) just skin damage manifesting in a specific way. They’re all pretty much like freckles, but they look a lot more concerning.

Essentially, the longer your skin exists, the more likely you are to accumulate skin damage. Some of it is concerning, but a lot of it is not. A lot of the time skin disorders only result in dysfunctional sweat glands as normal skin is replaced. But your body is a lot more efficient than it needs to be, so your body still functions perfectly well.

So eli5? It’s skin damage, whether that’s because of the sun or any type of exposure, or whether it’s just the consequences of aging as your skin becomes less durable. Just don’t panic, your skin is pretty resilient if it’s not cancer, your skin is functioning exactly as it should.

Does this happen to black skin?