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Lentigo maligna (as solar lentigo is referred) is characterized by some brown patches that often appear on the faces of the elderly . It is clinically a spreading brown patch with several variations in colour. Solar lentigo is normally flat on the skin and may take several decades to spread  from its original growth site to other parts of the body. The skin disorder often come with a long radial of a spreading range and it may spread reaching diameters of between 3-6cm , and  the infection is also confined to the upper skin layer {epidermis}, and this is the first stage of solar lentigo.

The second stage of the development of Solar lentigo starts when the infection starts to grow vertically. The infection is characterized by several melanocyte proliferation, and the hyperpigmentation of the epidermal basal region sets in especially when the vertical growth phase starts. A linear solar lentigo is characterized by freckles which comes with tan, brown or black spots which gets darker as the growth progresses and does not fade away even in the winter period.

Solar lentigo might not be cancerous in nature but must be treated effectively to prevent its embarrassing nature. There are several forms of differential diagnosis for solar lentigo and such diagnosis are conducted in order to be sure that one is not suffering from other skin disorders. The 4 main differential diagnostic approach are; Seborrheic keratosis diagnosis, Pigmented solar keratosis, freckles and lentigo maligna . The diagnosis for solar lentigo is compared with these diagnosis .

Before solar lentigo is treated, the doctor examines the speed of progression of the infection as well as the physical state and fitness of the patient before recommending any form of treatment is recommended. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgical removal of the infection are often recommended based on the spread of the lentigo as well as the sensitivity, age and fitness of the patient.

It is believed that surgery rarely cures solar lentigo and in most cases it is used as a last resort when other approaches have failed.  A patient may be examined few months before treatment and even after surgical treatments, the patient may be examined every 2 years. Surgical treatment is done especially when the lesion is small, cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen, and laser radiation therapy can also be performed especially when the lesions are large and spreading.

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Solar Lentigo