Lentigo (Age Spots)

West Dermatology

Learn more about Lentigo (Age Spots) and how West Dermatology can help.
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About Lentigo (Age Spots)

What is It?

Most types of lentigo are caused by sun or radiation exposure. Lentigo is most common in middle-aged or older people. Solar lentigo is caused by sun exposure and is often referred to as age spots or liver spots. Solar lentigo commonly appears in sun-exposed parts of your body. It can be found on any part of your body and is most often caused by sun damage or exposure to radiation. There are numerous types of lentigo, but the most common type is called lentigo simplex.

Lentigo maligna is a type of growth that develops in areas of long-term sun exposure, such as your face, arms or legs. Lentigo starts as a brown flat spot with an irregular shape that slowly gets bigger. Eventually the spot may develop into melanoma, a type of skin cancer that begins in the top layer of skin and then invades the underlying skin layer. See your doctor if you notice:
  • A new skin growth
  • A change in an existing mole
  • Any skin changes that seems unusual





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About Lentigo (Age Spots)

What Causes It?

Most types of lentigo are caused by sun or radiation exposure. Lentigo is most common in middle-aged or older people. Solar lentigo is caused by sun exposure and is often referred to as age spots or liver spots. Solar lentigo commonly appears in sun-exposed parts of your body.

Ultraviolet radiation breaks down the connective tissue — collagen and elastin fibers — that lies in the deeper layer of the skin (dermis). Without the supportive connective tissue, the skin loses its elastic quality. This condition, known as solar elastosis (e-las-TOE-sis), is characterized by yellowed, thickened skin with deep wrinkles that don't disappear with stretching.



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About Lentigo (Age Spots)

Common Treatments

Lentigo doesn’t usually cause pain or itchiness. The spots are also non-cancerous, but they can resemble other types of spots that can be cancerous. It’s a good idea to get them checked out by a dermatologist. Common treatments are listed below and offered at most of our clinics, just ask.

Chemical peels

A chemical peel is used to removed damaged skin cells on your hands, face, or neck. During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to your lentigo. The chemicals exfoliate your skin spot to uncover healthy skin underneath. 

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a method of freezing your skin spot with liquid nitrogen. It’s used for abnormal skin spots that are non-cancerous or precancerous. The treatment takes up to 10 days to heal from and usually doesn’t leave a scar. 

Laser therapy

Laser therapy involves using beams of light to remove your lentigo skin spot. Laster therapy allows for a more precise removal than with traditional surgery. Many people who undergo laser surgery also have quicker recovery times. 



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