Skin melanocytic tumor
Other pigmented lesions and disorders of pigmentation
Solar lentigo

Author: Christopher Hale, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 September 2018, last major update April 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Solar lentigo

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Cite this page: Hale, C. Solar lentigo. website. Accessed March 20th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Also called solar lentigines, age spots
  • Sun exposed skin of elderly (90% of whites age 60+); also truck drivers on sun exposed face (J Dermatol 2008;35:146)
  • Multiple large solar lentigos on upper back and shoulders suggest prior severe sunburn, a risk factor for melanoma (Dermatology 2007;214:25)
  • PUVA (psoralen + ultraviolet A) treatment for psoriasis cause numerous solar lentigines with atypia; similar findings after severe radiation exposure (Arch Dermatol 1997;133:209)
Clinical features
  • Macular hyperpigmentation
  • Often > 1 cm
  • "Ink spot lentigo" variant: small, darkly pigmented, stellate
  • Sharply demarcated border and fingerprint like structures
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Back lesions

Various images

Pre and post laser treatment

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Elongation of rete ridges and increased pigmentation at tips of retes; pigmentation may be irregular
  • Also solar elastosis, telangiectasia, variable chronic inflammatory infiltrate in dermis
Differential diagnosis
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