Lentigines / Lentigo (Sun Spot)

Skin Conditions & Treatments > Lentigines / Lentigo (Sun Spot)

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Dermatology A-Z

        A lentigo is a "sun-spot", an increase in brown pigmentation usually about the size of a pencil eraser on sun-exposed skin (cheeks, shoulders, arms, and chest usually). It is really important to see a dermatologist to properly diagnose a lentigo because melanoma skin cancer can look very similar to the untrained eye. There are devastating stories of these skin cancers being mismanaged by "laser" or "chemical peeling" at a spa and this results in a severe delay in diagnosis. This is why all of our patients need a skin check by the dermatologist before proceeding with cosmetic procedures to reduce dark spots. Once diagnosed, you will be reassured that these lesions are completely benign. They represent sun damage so the skin will need to be monitored over time for the development of skin cancers however the spots themselves are harmless. The best way to treat and prevent sun spots is to wear sunscreen, hats, sit in the shade, avoid the sun between 10a-2pm, and wear sun-protective clothing. No treatment is necessary but frequently patients like to reduce them, especially on the face. There are several treatments available including topical creams, laser treatments, and chemical peels.

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