Skin melanocytic tumor

Lentigines, melanotic macules and melanocytic hyperplasia


Topic Completed: 1 April 2013

Minor changes: 15 July 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Solar lentigo

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 13,027
Page views in 2021 to date: 14,396
Cite this page: Hale CS. Lentigo. website. Accessed October 18th, 2021.
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

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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