• Introduction

    Age Spots / Liver Spots / Lentigos

What are Lentigos/ Age Spots / Liver Spots?

The above terms are all used to refer to a lesion known as a solar lentigo. Solar lentigos are benign harmless brown patches on the skin that are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This causes localised multiplication of melanin producing cells and accumulation of melanin within the skin.

What do Solar Lentigos look like?

A solar lentigo is a flat brown well defined patch. They can be round, oval or irregularly shaped and range from a few millimetres to several centimetres in diameter. They can be slightly scaly. They are typically found on uncovered sun exposed skin such as the back of the face and back of the hands. The photos below illustrate the appearance of solar lentigos on the back of the hands and face.

Photos courtesy of Derm Net NZ

Caution

Pigmented lesions must be correctly diagnosed and confirmed as benign prior to treatment. Certain types of dangerous skin cancer such as lentigo maligna and melanoma must not be missed. Dr Hussein will take a history and carefully look at your lesion and examine it with a special instrument called a dermatoscope. If there is any suspicion a biopsy may need to be taken.