A lentigo (plural: lentigines) is a spot on the skin that is darker (usually brown) than the surrounding skin. Lentigines are more common among those with fair skin.
What Causes Lentigines?
Exposure to the sun seems to be the major cause of lentigines. Lentigines most often appear on parts of the body that get the most sun, including the face and hands. Some lentigines may be caused by genetics (family history) or by medical procedures such as radiation therapy.
How Are Lentigines Treated?
There are several methods for treating lentigines:
- Cryosurgery (freezing it off)
- Laser surgery
- Creams that are applied to the skin but doesn’t permanently remove lentigines. These include retinoids and bleaching agents.
Can Lentigines Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent lentigines is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more when outdoors and wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid using tanning beds.