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What are lentigines? Discover the difference between freckles, lentigines and melasmas

Do you have freckles or sun spots ? Then this article interests you! Although I have already told you about freckles and sun spots on the skin on occasion, I have never stopped to explain what lentigines are and what types of lentigines exist, have I? Well, the time has come to find out what differences there are between all of them so that you stop confusing them, so be careful!

What are lentigines?

Lentils are what we commonly call 'big freckles ' ; that is, hyperpigmentation in a certain area of ​​the skin . They usually appear on the skin most exposed to the sun , since they appear as a result of the increased production of melanocytes in the most superficial layer of the skin; that is, in the epidermis .

Almost all lentigines are due to sunburns that we may have suffered in childhood and/or adolescence , since the skin keeps the memory of any cellular damage that our dermis has suffered from overexposure to the sun .

What types of lentigines are there?

Although up to now we have mentioned that lentigines are created from exposure to the sun , the truth is that there are two types of lentigines :

  • Simple or juvenile lentigines: this type of lentigines usually appears in childhood and usually disappears in adulthood . In addition, the cause of their appearance is not exposure to the sun , so they can appear in any area of ​​the body with a dark brown color .
  • Solar lentigines: this type of lentigines are usually larger and lighter in color than simple lentigines. Its cause is exposure to the sun only, which is why they appear in adulthood as a result of sun damage that the skin may have suffered in previous years.


Differences between freckles and lentigines

Although the most common thing is that you have never differentiated the terms ' freckle ' and 'lentigo' , the truth is that, even though they have many points in common, their biggest difference is the cause of their appearance (although both have to do with exposure in the sun ).

In the case of freckles , these appear when the skin comes into contact with the sun's radiation , since melanin is distributed irregularly throughout the body , creating deposits of melanocytes in very specific areas.

However, lentigines appear in the epidermis due to an increase in melanocytes in the most superficial layer of the skin and not due to an increase in melanin production.

Another of the most notable differences between freckles and lentigines is their appearance . Not only is freckles smaller than lentigines, but while the former usually disappear in the winter months , lentigines remain on our epidermis throughout the year with a brown color (either light or dark ).

Finally, it should be noted that freckles usually appear in childhood and tend to increase in number over the years. However, in the case of lentigines , they do not usually appear on the skin until a much later age , around 30 or 40 years of age .

Differences between melasmas and solar lentigines

It's true… Solar lentigines and melasmas can be easily confused, but they are not the same!

On the one hand, melasmas are hormonal sun spots that, no matter how much they are treated, always end up appearing . These tend to appear above all on the face as a result of sun exposure and the person's hormonal predisposition . Thus, its appearance is usually more frequent in young women who do not yet have stable hormones.

On the other hand, there are solar lentigines , which disappear if properly treated with laser .

How to prevent the appearance of solar lentigines?

To prevent its appearance , not only do you have to have a good sunscreen , but you also have to use antioxidant cosmetics that help the skin prevent the production of free radicals and, in turn, their cellular oxidation .

How to treat lentigines?

Like freckles , lentigines do not need treatment as long as they appear benign and do not undergo sudden changes in appearance . In the same way, it is important to know that lentigines do not usually cause itching or pain , so if you suffer from any of these symptoms , it is recommended to go to the dermatologist to evaluate the hyperpigmentation suffered on the skin .

Thus, although in principle both are considered rather aesthetic skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun , they can evolve into lentigo maligna that often gives rise to skin cancer , so keeping track of them is essential for skin health . _ _


Did you know the difference between freckles and lentigines ? And the difference between solar lentigines and melasmas ?

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