Lentigo sounds like some kind of a Brazilian dance but it actually is a small pigmented spot surrounded by normal colored skin. A lentigo can appear anywhere on the body and can vary in color from brown to black. Lentigines (plural for lentigo) are considered to be non-cancerous, but they should be examined by a doctor to determine whether they might be melanoma.
There are a variety of types on lentigines. Below are some of the most frequent types seen:
• Lentigo simplex: is the most common type of lentigines and can also appear on children’s skin. They are not affected by sun exposure and may occur anywhere on the skin or inside the mouth as a small freckle or dime sized spot ranging in color from brown to black.
• Solar lentigo: are sometimes called liver spots and commonly appear on the face, backs of the hands, arms and trunk. PUVA induced lentigines are similar except they are a result of PUVA treatments used for those with psoriasis.
• Ink-spot lentigo: commonly appears as a single small black irregularly colored spot in the center of a patch of solar lentigines. This type of lentigo occurs more often in those of Celtic descent.
• Tanning bed lentigo: are related to excess tanning bed use and usually occur in women. They appear more often on the front of the arms and legs but may also be on the neck and chest.
• Oral and labial melanotic macules: are small flat blue-black spots that most commonly appear as single spot on the lower lip. They may also occur inside the mouth and on the gums.
• Vulvar and penile lentigo: look similar to oral melanotic macules and in men may occur on the glans, the corona or shaft of the penis. Woman may develop mottled pigmented patches up to dime size anywhere on the labia or can develop a lentigo spot along an episiotomy scar from childbirth.
• Lentigines profusa: is also called generalized lentigines and may appear as patches of large freckled-like areas or as multiple lentigos that merge together. They can occur on the arms, the trunk and the labia and vary in color from brown to black.