Solar Lentigines

Solar Lentigens is a harmless patch of darkened skin. It results from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which causes local proliferation of melanocytes and accumulation of melanin within the skin cells (keratinocytes). Solar lentigos or lentigines are very common, especially in people over the age of 40 years. Sometimes they are also known as an “old age spot” or “senile freckle”.

A lentigo is a small, sharply circumscribed, pigmented macule surrounded by normal-appearing skin. Histologic findings may include hyperplasia of the epidermis and increased pigmentation of the basal layer. A variable number of melanocytes are present; these melanocytes may be increased in number, but they do not form nests. Lentigines may evolve slowly over years, or they may be eruptive and appear rather suddenly.

Solar lentigines are found as groups of similar lesions 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.

Solar lentigines may be single or multiple. To prevent solar lentigines, avoid exposure to sunlight in midday (10 AM to 3 PM), wear sun-protective clothing (tightly woven clothes and hats), and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 UVA and UVB block).

Treatment for Solar Lentigens includes Picocare 450 laser and medications.