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Solar lentigo, age spot, sun spot

What is it?

Spots caused by the damage resulting from skin exposure to sunlight through life. As the result of cumulative action of the sun only appears after many years, lesions are more common in older people, hence the name "age spots".

It is easy to verify that the age spot is actually a sun spot by looking at the skin of the armpit, which is protected from the sun, and notice that, despite having the same age as the skin affected by "age spot", there are no spots in these areas.

Characteristics and symptoms

The solar lentigos are dark spots, pale to dark brown, usually very small, but may reach a few centimeters in size. They arise only in areas that are daily exposed to the sun like the face, the back of the hands and arms, neck and shoulders. They are more common in people with light skin.

solar lentigo

The cumulative sun damage over the years leads to increased number of melanocytes (cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin) and their activity, producing more melanin and darkening the skin.


The ideal is to prevent the appearance of spots, which must be made through the use of sunscreen in areas continually exposed to the sun. Not only when going to the beach or pool, but also at daily exposure, which gradually damages the skin which, in the future, will suffer alterations that lead to spots.

The treatment can be done in several ways, such as chemical cauterization, cryosurgery, dermabrasion, chemical peels and the use of laser or intense pulsed light. The results are usually good, since the technique is used properly.

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