Lentigo: what is it and what is its treatment?

Lentigo is a skin coloring that it tends to appear over the years and sun aging, due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are also cases of children, but they happen to a lesser extent.

These spots are dark and small in size, usually no larger than 2 centimeters. They are benign, although some grow rapidly and are frightened by that speed. Others, however, take years to reach their maximum size. One way or another they contain no malice.

types of lentigo

There is no single form of lentigo. They differ in the form they take and in the underlying causes that generate them. Also, in some cases, their response or not to certain treatments.

lentigo simplex

The most common way is simple. Its body distribution is varied, as it can be present in the upper or lower limbs, as well as the thorax. They are usually detected at birth and there is a chance that they will disappear any minute.

lentigo simplex
Most freckles are benign; some in fact disappear without the need for treatment.

solar lentigo

This is the way to grow old. The skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays for many years and this radiation causes cellular changes. which will show up as spots. His incidence it increases as it is measured in older populations, reaching high levels over 65 to 80 years of age.

The effect of solar radiation is the stimulation of the multiplication of melanocytes. These are the cells that produce and contain the dark colored pigment melanin. Hence the brown tint of this variety.

inkblot freckles

This is one classic form of people with very fair and pale skin. After being exposed to the sun at a specific acute time, with a lot of radiation penetrating the unprotected epidermis, at the same time it causes a small color change, like a speck.

PUVA lentigo

In psoriasis and other related or autoimmune skin diseases, medications and ultraviolet light therapy may be prescribed. In this particular case, UVAs are used and the combined drug treatment receives the acronym PUVA.

He adverse effect of PUVA therapy are freckles, since the radiation used can simulate the effect of sunburn and transformation of melanocytes.

radiation lentigo

In the same sense as the previous one, it appears as an adverse effect of a treatment. In this case it is a derivation of radiotherapy which is applied to cancer patients. It can happen due to lack of adequate protection in certain areas of the skin or because it was impracticable based on the sessions that had to be practiced. They are not always avoidable.

Why do freckles appear and what are their symptoms?

The causes of lentigo, as we have said, largely respond to radiation. However, there is record of genetic inheritance that causes the same spot in the same area of ​​the body between parents, grandparents and children. It is also possible to inherit risk factors for developing lesions, such as skin type.

The genetic forms appear as more complex syndromes that include other signs in some people. He Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is one example, where patients suffer from non-cancerous tumor growths in the digestive tract that accompany the skin spots.

As for radiation, both the sun’s rays and PUVA and radiation oncology are to blame. The melanocytes are modified by the radiant stimulus and grow uncontrollably by multiplying the amount of melanin and concentrating it in certain areas.

The spots are dark due to the melanin pigment and appear on different parts of the body. While the simple type tends to be located in the limbs, in the solar forms there is concentration on the face.

How to differentiate a benign lentigo from a malignant one?

Lentigo maligna is one form on site skin melanoma originating from solar radiation. There are some scientific discussions about the correct name, but this is accepted in a generic way, while some authors propose to speak in this way only when there is no penetration of the dermis by the tumor.

Even if there are clinical criteria For a dermatologist to determine benignity by observation, a skin biopsy is imperative when in doubt. The lesion is excised, if possible, and microscopic analysis is performed.

There is no other way to achieve certainty when the possibility of confusion arises.. In each case, healthcare professionals are trained to use dermoscopy (enhanced observation of the skin) with the minimum degree of error to rule out malignancy.

possible treatments

The approach to lentigo is almost always conservative because its benign nature does not require eradication. If it is confirmed, it may be due to a suspicion of malignancy or for cosmetic reasons requested by the patient. ANDOptions include cryosurgery, lasers, and topical creams.


AND Minor surgery It is performed in outpatient settings without the need for anesthesia or further care. In the same question, the dermatologist applies a liquid nitrogen-based spray to the lesion. This substance will freeze the lentigo cells and form a scab.

Over the days the scab will come off dragging the lesion. In short, what happens is that the lentigo burns with the cold.

Cryosurgery burns the lentigo with liquid nitrogen. It is a simple procedure that does not require hospitalization.


The use of the laser to treat lentigo is based on light pulses, therefore you can also opt for the form of pulsed light, used, for example, in aesthetic therapies for permanent hair removal. The light energy focuses on the lesion and disappears after several sessions.

topical creams

There are many creams on the market that are sold for the purpose of removing blemishes from the skin. They are the ones who, with advertising, are promoted for lentigo in women over 40.

In any case, the most effective active compound so far, according to scientific studies, is oxyresveratrol. It is an inhibitor of an enzyme called tyrosinaseinvolved in the metabolism of melanin. The drug is also prescribed for other skin pigment conditions.

lentigo is benign

We know that lentigo is benign. The only cure that needs to be taken is confusion with the form on site of melanoma. For this, a timely consultation and a skin biopsy are sufficient in order to detect any malignant presence.

In case you want to remove the stain for cosmetic reasons, there are a few mostly safe options. It is sufficient for a professional to provide advice to choose the method suitable for each person’s skin type and age.

The post Lentigo: what is it and what is its treatment? first appeared on research-school



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