Solar Lentigo

solar lentigo

What is solar lentigo?

A solar lentigo or solar lentigines (actinic lentigo) is a light brown to dark brown, flat, even colored or reticulated macule that occurs in sun-exposed areas, and although sometimes solitary, such lesions are more often multiple. The dorsal aspects of the hands, extensor forearms, upper trunk, and face are the most commonly affected sites

What does a solar lentigo look like?

They are also known as old age spots, commonly flat, and very well circumscribed. Its shape may vary from round, oval or even irregular. Color ranges from tan skin to dark brown or black. Its size gets from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter. They can be slightly scaly.

Solar lentigines may be found alone or as groups on sun-exposed sites, particularly the face or the back of hands. They occur in light and dark skin but tend to be more numerous in fair-skinned individuals. They are found in 90% of the Caucasian population older than 60 years of age, and their incidence increases with advancing age. They can also be found in younger individuals after acute or chronic sun exposure. Solar Lentigo is more common in Caucasians but also occur in Asians.

Solar Lentigo Causes

Solar lentigines result from epidermal hyperplasia. It has a variable proliferation of melanocytes and the accumulation of melanin within keratinocytes in response to chronic UV radiation exposure. Associated mutations have not been elucidated. As with ephelides, variants in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene are linked to the development of solar lentigines

Solar Lentigines characteristics

The Solar lentigines is a flat, well-defined patch. They are often found in groups of similar lesions. These spots are usually round or oval, but they can also have an irregular shape. They usually vary from about 3 mm to 2 cm in diameter and can become confluent. Their color varies from flesh, beige to dark brown and black, but they are usually light brown. They vary in size and can be slightly scaly.

The spots are similar in appearance to freckles, but the solar lentigo retains its color and number of spots even if the patient decreases its exposure to the sun. These occur most frequently in hands, face, arms and other areas with high sun exposure.

Although the condition itself is not dangerous, it can swell and cause actinic keratosis and other skin conditions.

Can Solar Lentigo become cancerous?

Although this skin condition is benign, we should not forget that It is caused by excessive sun exposure. This increases the probability of developing skin cancer. Therefore, individuals with solar lentigo have a greater predisposition to develop forms of skin cancer (squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma).

The occasional development of melanocyte cytologic atypia in solar lentigines suggests a relationship of solar lentigines to lentigo maligna. Although a clear progression to lentigo maligna has not been established.

Treatment for Solar Lentigo

For cosmetic purposes, spots can be removed with Microdermabrasion or laser although these can leave a white spot in place. You should not use whitening creams containing hydroquinone since there have been houses of recurrent hyperpigmentation.

Laser: is the most reliable and effective method to remove Solar lentigos and other age Spots. In the medical procedure is used an intense laser light penetrates the epidermis and causes the skin to rejuvenate. The energy scatters the skin pigments and destroys the discoloration. The treatment is not painful and requires no downtime.

Microdermabrasion: a non-invasive skin treatment that uses abrasive materials directly against the skin, exfoliating the top layers to remove the dark, hyperpigmented skin. The treatment has no side effects and requires no downtime.

If a malformation is detected, a dermatoscopy must be performed, sometimes a skin biopsy is necessary. of being positive for some type of malignant disease such as lentigo maligna, melanoma, squamous or basal cell cancer. the specialist will determine the surgical removal of the affected area, in order to prevent the expansion of cancer.

How to prevent the appearance of the Solar Lentigo?

To prevent solar lentigo you should use one of the best quality sunscreens, as well as avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Be sure to control the growth of the spots. It is necessary to self-evaluate in search of changes in the skin that alert early the emergence of malignant disease. The Skin Cancer Foundation ensures that 90% of skin cancer cases detected early can be cured.

Solar lentigo does not require medical attention. However, if you are not sure about the cause of your pigmented spots, seek medical help.

A doctor can diagnose your condition by visual examination, but sometimes it is difficult to differentiate an irregular lentigo from melanoma. In this case, a dermatoscopy or skin biopsy is required.

Solar lentigo
Article Name
Solar lentigo
Solar Lentigo or lentigines (actinic lentigo) is a light brown to dark brown, flat, even colored or reticulated macule that occurs in sun exposed areas, and although sometimes solitary, such lesions are more often multiple. The dorsal aspects of the hands, extensor forearms, upper trunk and face are the most commonly affected sites
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Online Skin Doctor
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