Lentigos, or liver spots, are benign lesions that occur on the sun-exposed areas of the body. The backs of hands and face are common areas to find lentigos. The lesions tend to increase in number with age and sun exposure, making them common among the middle age and older population. These flat lesions usually have discrete borders, are dark in color, and have an irregular shape.
These lesions are caused by a marked increase in the number of pigment cells located in the superficial layers of the skin. A biopsy should be considered if a lesion develops a highly irregular border, changes in pigmentation or changes in the thickness to rule out cancer.
Lentigines are usually benign therefore treatment is not necessary. For cosmetic purposes, Dr. Green uses several successful treatments including hydroquinone preparations (bleaching preparations), Retinol, chemical peels, and lasers. Protective measures should be taken to avoid any excessive sunlight exposure. These include sunscreen with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and protective clothing, such as hats and long sleeves.