Which physical findings are characteristic of ink-spot lentigo?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Ink-spot lentigo (ie, reticulated black solar lentigo) can be distinguished by a wiry or beaded, markedly irregular outline; these lesions occur in patients of Celtic ancestry. The benign lesions have a reticulated pattern, and most lesions resemble a spot of ink. The distribution is limited to sun-exposed areas of the body, similar to that of solar lentigo; however, in contrast to solar lentigines, patients usually have only 1 ink-spot lentigo. The most common presentation includes 1 ink-spot lentigo among an extensive number of solar lentigines.

These lesions can also be distinguished from the darkly pigmented PUVA lentigo by their more reticulated or beaded pattern and multiple central and peripheral skip areas. Ink-spot lentigines can initially suggest melanoma because of their dark color, irregular border, and limited number; however, further investigation, which may include biopsy, reveals the characteristic features of these benign lesions.

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