A lentigo (plural: lentigines) is a small pigmented spot on the skin with a clearly-defined edge, surrounded by normal-appearing skin. It is a harmless (benign) hyperplasia of melanocytes which is linear in its spread. This means the hyperplasia of melanocytes is restricted to the cell layer directly above the basement membrane of the epidermis where melanocytes normally reside. This is in contrast to the "nests" of multi-layer melanocytes found in moles. Because of this characteristic feature, the adjective "lentiginous" is used to describe other skin lesions that similarly proliferate linearly within the basal cell layer.
Lentigines are distinguished from freckles based on the proliferation of melanocytes. Freckles have a relatively normal number of melanocytes but an increased amount of melanin. A lentigo has an increased number of melanocytes. Freckles will intensify and fade with sunlight exposure, whereas lentigines will stay stable in their color regardless of sunlight exposure.
History of exposures
Other factors, depending on the type of lentigo
Solar lentigo (e.g., actinic lentigo, senile lentigo, sun spot, liver spot) is the most common benign sun-induced lesion that occurs in sun-exposed areas. Solar lentigo most commonly appears on the face, arms, dorsa of the hands, and upper part of the trunk. The spots initially are smaller than 5 mm in diameter. The surface of the lesions is either flat or depressed, and it may be split by fine wrinkles.
The lesions are usually brown, but the color may range from yellow-tan to black. Older lesions are often dark brown or brownish black. Solar lentigines slowly increase in number and in size. Many lesions eventually coalesce to form larger patches. Although these lesions are most common in individuals aged 30-50 years, they are now seen in younger individuals because of their increased exposure to sun tanning and the use of artificial sources of UV light. Although they are often called liver spots, they are not a manifestation of systemic disease.
Noninvasive topical creams are also used. After several months of application, tretinoin cream and hydroquinone cream can lighten lentigines.
The efficacy and safety of cryotherapy and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) were compared for the treatment of solar lentigo. Cryotherapy was more effective than TCA 33% solution in the treatment of solar lentigines of the back of the hands, particularly in lighter- complexioned individuals. For darker-complexioned people, TCA 33% may be preferred, although post inflammatory hyperpigmentation remains a risk for both modalities.The effect of a bleaching solution containing 2% mequinol (4-hydroxyanisole, 4HA) and 0.01% tretinoin (Solagé) applied twice daily for 3 months on solar lentigines present on the back of one hand demonstrated a significant lightening effect after 2 months of treatment and was maintained at least 2 months after stopping treatment.
Skin-lightening products commercially available target natural melanin production, many as competitive inhibitors of tyrosinase.
Treatment with the SKIN CLASSIC is fast and effective in treating age spots with very specific high frequency that allows thermal vaporization with minimal impact to surrounding tissue.
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