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Introduction to Lentigines

Lentigines are also popular as sunspots, age spots and even liver spots. This condition is innocent i.e. they are harmless. They appear as flat, brownish discoloration of the skin that generally occurs on the back of the hands, neck and face. The condition is more often observed in the people who are older than 40 yr of age. These spots just a bit than anything else, make person look older. Lentigines are thought to be raised because of the skin that is exposed to the sunrays over many years.

Confirmation of Lentigines

There are many people who do not believe that there can be brownish and ugly marks on the backside of the hands and face are just because due to sunlight. For them, here is the simple test; one should look at the skin of the inner thighs. One would notice that the skins of the inner thighs are completely devoid of age spots. Sun spots are harmless and do not require to be treated unless they change or get bigger than the surrounding sunspots.

Lentigo – statistics

Lentigo is a kind of brown skin lesion and in general terms, these are often cited to as liver-spots or age-spots. In some of the cases, they are flat brown-black spots. Though the spots are commonly seen in adults older than age forty, they can affect younger people also. Lentigo is caused because of chronic sunlight exposures. It is commonly found in the elderly (peak relative incidence in the 9th decade), onto the skin areas those are under high levels of sun exposure .Lentigo maligna melanoma is one of the four main subtypes of invasive melanoma and representing 5-15% of cases. The other types include superficial spreading (up to 70 per cent), nodular and Acral lentiginous melanoma.

Lentigo maligna is mostly observed in patients aging 50-80 yr and accounts for 10-15% of the skin carcinoma cases. A slight female prevalence is seen among the people suffering from Lentigo maligna. Large lentigo might be difficult to tell from skin carcinogenic by laypersons. Any Lentigo developing black spots and those that bleed, itch on a regular basis turns inflamed or irritated and requires to be evaluated by some dermatologists.

Symptoms of lentigo

Symptoms of Lentigo maligna are nothing but the lesions on the skin that appear tan to brownish and occur on body areas such as the head, neck and back of the hands. There would be typically 2-6 centimeters in length and having some irregular shapes with dark spots. Other symptoms include –

  • Any family history of multiple Lentigines
  • Cafe-au-lait spots
  • Wide-set eyes (known as hypertelorism)
  • Prominent ears
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pectus carinatum (abnormalities of the sternum or breastbone)
  • Undescended testicles (called as cryptorchidism)
  • Slow growth
  • Delayed puberty or even absent puberty

The cause of Lentigines

The perfect cause is unknown.

The cure of Lentigines

The treatment involves surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Any one of them or they all can be used in the treatment of Lentigo maligna. Noninvasive topical lotions/gels or creams can also be used. After some months of application, Tretinoin creams and hydroquinone creams show results by lightening the darker spots caused due to condition like Lentigines. Broad-spectrum sunscreens might be helpful preventing further appearance and darkening of solar Lentigines.

Some of the health experts go for liquid nitrogen; since it is the air, which is so cold in its liquid form (-321ºF). The estheticians spray the liquid nitrogen onto the sunspot and this will cause the mark to turn white a month or so after treatments. Treatment of solar Lentigines with a focal medium-depth chemicals’ peel might be clinically superior as compared to treatments with cryosurgeries. Vitamin C, an antioxidant and vitamin C would help tissue repairing and hence, advised to be taken 15mg a day for 1-2 months. Some of them also use Retin-A cream in order to cure conditions like Lentigines.