Treatment of solar lentigines

      Therapy for solar lentigines is diverse but can be divided into two broad categories: physical therapy and topical therapy. Physical therapies are frequently used with excellent clinical success rates, but this has to be balanced against associated side effects and recurrence rates with certain therapies. A range of topical therapies have been used and, more recently, fixed combinations of topical agents have been investigated. The Pigmentary Disorders Academy undertook to evaluate the clinical efficacy of the different treatments of solar lentigines in order to generate a consensus statement on their management. Clinical papers published during the past 20 years were identified through MEDLINE searches and methodology and outcome were assessed according to guidelines adapted from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on health care. The consensus of the group was that first-line therapy for solar lentigines was ablative therapy with cryotherapy. Although no large-scale studies have been completed, there is also good evidence to suggest that lasers are an effective treatment. An alternative to ablative therapy is topical therapy and there is good evidence to support the use of a fixed double combination, as well as retinoids, such as adapalene and tretinoin. Topical therapy can also be considered as maintenance therapy after the primary therapy has been applied. Because of the diversity of scoring systems used in the assessment of treatment outcome, the group recommends the development of treatment guidelines.

      Abbreviations used:

      4HA (4-hydroxyanisole), HQ (hydroquinone), IPL (intense pulsed light), PDA (Pigmentary Disorders Academy), RA (retinoic acid (tretinoin)), TCA (trichloroacetic acid), VLP (Versapulse long-pulse [Nd:YAG 532-nm laser]), VQS (Versapulse Q-switched [Nd:YAG 532-nm laser])
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