A lentigo is a patch of darker skin, usually due to exposure to sunlight, most commonly on the face or hands - but occasionally on non-sun exposed areas.

Also known as

Lentigines, age spot, liver spot, freckle, solar lentigo, actinic lentigo

Symptoms and signs

  • Irregular-shaped tan or brown patches on the skin, usually with well-defined edges
  • The surface of a lentigo can be smooth or rough

Risk factors

  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Fair skin

Prognosis / outcome

Solar lentigines are harmless and do not lead to skin cancer. Treatment is not medically required, but may be desired for cosmetic purposes.


Some lentigines become raised and develop into a seborrhoeic keratoses (thickening of the top layer of skin). Occasionally solar keratoses become inflamed and develop into a lichenoid keratosis, which then resolves.

Medications for



Prevention of



  • Avoid excessive ultraviolet radiation: protective clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, etc. To reduce the risk of solar lentigines , sunscreen should be worn every day, not just on days where the ultraviolet index is moderate or high.


Clinical images of
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