Sun spots occur when the top surface layer of skin expands with more pigment and develops what may look like a large freckle. One may appear by itself, or a few may be clustered together.
Some people may have a hereditary predisposition to sun spots. Sun spots may develop at an early age, even in childhood, though they are more common in older people, especially those who have spent too much time in the sun.
Sun spots are not cancerous, nor do they lead to cancer. However, on skin exposed to the sun, they may be accompanied by precancerous scaly, red elevations called actinic keratosis. Dark spots, which may be cancerous, may also appear to be lentigines. All of these blemishes should be evaluated by a dermatologic surgeon.