What is it?
A lentigo is an area of skin that has more skin pigment than normal parts of the skin and thus looks darker. Solar lentigenes are due to damage from the sun or sunbeds and are usually age-related. They are found on the most sun-exposed areas of the skin, which tend to be the backs of hands, face and lower legs. They can be yellow, light or dark brown in colour. Solar lentigenes are harmless.
How is it diagnosed?
A solar lentigo can usually be identified from its appearance and the way it looks using a magnifying tool called a dermatoscope.
How is it treated?
Solar lentigenes can be prevented by very vigilant sun protection. Once present, they usually don’t need to be treated. However, they may pose a cosmetic nuisance. Treatment options include cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen), hydroquinone containing creams and lasers.