Lentigo: Symptoms and Treatment
Lentigo — benign skin rashes in the form of small spots (1-2 centimeters in diameter) of yellow or dark brown color. Refers to melanodermal formations. It is not a precancerous condition, however, if it is frequently traumatized and sun exposure is excessive, skin cancer can provoke it. According to the International Classification of Diseases of the Tenth Revision (ICD-10), this disease is assigned code L 81.4. Treatment should appoint only a doctor, after examination and establishment of etiology and form of development of this disease.
There are such etiological factors of the development of this pathological process:
- increased susceptibility to ultraviolet rays
- effects on the skin of artificial radiation sources
- use of cosmetics that contain oxidized components
- frequent cosmetology procedures
- previous dermatological diseases
- taking hormonal contraceptives
- receiving immunosuppressors
- weak immune system
- Human papillomavirus infection
- previous organ transplantation operations
- age changes.
Rarely, but still there are cases when the etiology of this dermatological disease is not established or is hereditary.
Proceeding from provoking factors, there are two forms of development of this disease:
In turn, the acquired form of development of this skin disease is divided into these types:
- simple — most often due to malfunctions in the hormonal background, a metabolic disorder
- Actinic Lentigo
- senile or hepatic lentigo — occurs against the background of impaired senile metabolism, may be accompanied by a pronounced hyperpigmentation process
- adolescent — is caused by restructuring in the hormonal background in connection with natural physiological processes
- Lentigious mucous membranes — characterized by the appearance of light strips on the mucous membranes
- solar lentigo is due to increased skin susceptibility to ultraviolet rays.
The spots of the sun lentigo, in most cases, appear after a sunburn or prolonged irradiation under artificial sunlight.
Separately, we should distinguish two forms of the disease, which are extremely rare:
- Central lentiginosis of Turen — spots are observed in the mouth, cheeks, rarely pass over the shoulders. They are accompanied by extremely severe symptoms — epileptic attacks, psychiatric disorders, delay in development
- Peri-official lentiginosis — spots are localized in the face area, especially the lips. The disease is accompanied by the appearance of multiple spots, as well as polyps in various organs that are prone to malignant degeneration.
By the nature of the current, the benign and malignant lentigo are distinguished. The most unfavorable forecast has the last form.
The development of the malignant form of the disease is characterized by four stages:
- the first and second stage — the swelling of the tumor, there is no metastasis to other organs, the outlook is positive;
- The third stage is the expression of the neoplasm, pain sensations. With a timely begun treatment, the prognosis can be positive;
- fourth stage — the process of metastasis to other organs begins, which provokes the manifestation of the corresponding symptomatology. The prognosis is extremely unfavorable, the effectiveness of treatment is only observed in 10%.
It follows that the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the higher the effectiveness of treatment and the more optimistic the forecast.
A benign form of a lentigo usually does not cause physiological discomfort to a person. The clinical picture of this disease is characterized as follows:
- presence of spots on the skin from light yellow to dark brown
- the shape of the spots is round, not more than 2 centimeters in diameter
- Eruptions are localized on exposed parts of the body, less often in the genital area and back;
- Spots are not grouped together
- itching, peeling, ulceration is not observed.
Malignant lentigo (melanoma) manifests itself in the following symptoms:
- the spots begin to grow;
- the boundaries of the lesion change shape, the edges become blurred
- Scars can form on the surface of the spot;
- foci are accompanied by itching.
If treatment of the malignant form of lentigo is not started in time, then the development of lentiginous melanoma is possible, which leads to the formation of cancer metastases on the skin. In this case, the most favorable prognosis is melanoma 1 degree — metastasis in the organs and lymph nodes is not observed, the risk of recurrence of the disease is extremely low.
In the presence of such education on the skin should, first of all, contact the dermatologist. If necessary, you may need to consult an oncologist.
The diagnostic program can include the following:
- general and biochemical blood test
- an expanded biochemical blood test
- biopsy of the affected area of the skin
- confocal laser scanning microscopy
- blood test for oncomarkers.
Differential diagnostics may also be needed to confirm or exclude the risk of developing such dermatological diseases:
- senile keratosis
- Dublea melanosis;
- Addison’s disease.
Based on the results of the examination, the doctor puts the final diagnosis, determines the etiologic factor of the development of this disease and chooses the most effective course of treatment.
Lentigo can be treated as follows:
- Surgical method — excision of the skin area with neoplasm. However, this method of treatment can not be used if the spots are localized on the face;
- Close-focus X-ray therapy — the activity of abnormal cells decreases with X-rays
Also, the removal of stains (if they are not a manifestation of the oncological process) is possible by the following methods:
- photoprotection — destruction of the pigment layer
- laser resurfacing;
- chemical peeling;
- dermabrasion — is suitable only for single spots.
It may be necessary to correct the diet and stop taking hormonal drugs.
If this dermatological disease does not take a malignant form, the prognosis is positive, complications do not arise. However, one must also understand that for effective removal of spots 1-2 procedures will not be enough.
In the malignant form of the disease, appropriate basic therapy is conducted. Surgical intervention is possible.
It is impossible to completely exclude the development of this disease. Minimize the risk of this pathology can be, if you adhere to such recommendations:
- In case of prolonged exposure to sunlight, special protective equipment should be used
- apply only high-quality cosmetics for skin care
- correctly, eat well.
If you have the above described clinical picture, you need to see a doctor, not self-medicate or ignore symptoms.