Lentigines, or liver spots, are benign lesions that occur on the sun-exposed areas of the body. The backs of hands and face are common areas. The lesions tend to increase in number with age, making them common among the middle age and older population. They can vary in size from 0.2 to 2 cm. These flat lesions usually have discrete borders, are dark in color, and have an irregular shape.
These lesions are caused by a marked increase in the number of pigment cells located in the superficial layers of the skin. A biopsy should be considered if a lesion develops a highly irregular border, changes in pigmentation, or changes in the thickness to rule out cancer.
Lentigines are usually benign therefore treatment is not necessary. For cosmetic purposes, some successful treatments include: cryotherapy, hydroquinone preparations (bleaching preparations), retinoid cream, chemical peels or lasers. Protective measures should be taken to avoid any excessive sunlight exposure. These include sunscreen and protective clothing, such as hats and long sleeves.
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