Diagnosis and management of facial pigmented macules

Clin Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb;32(1):94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.05.030.


The differential diagnosis of pigmented macules on the mottled chronic sun-damaged skin of the face is challenging and includes lentigo maligna (LM), pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, solar lentigo, and lichen-planus-like keratosis. Although dermatoscopy improves the diagnostic accuracy of the unaided eye, the accurate diagnosis and management of pigmented facial macules remains one of the most challenging scenarios in daily practice. This is related to the fact that pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, lichen-planus-like keratosis, and LM may reveal overlapping criteria, making their differential diagnosis clinically difficult. For this reason, practical rules have been introduced, which should help to minimize the risk for inappropriate diagnosis and management of LM.

MeSH terms

  • Dermoscopy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Facial Dermatoses / diagnosis*
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy
  • Facial Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Facial Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hutchinson's Melanotic Freckle / diagnosis*
  • Hutchinson's Melanotic Freckle / therapy
  • Hyperpigmentation / pathology
  • Keratosis, Actinic / diagnosis*
  • Keratosis, Actinic / therapy
  • Lentigo / diagnosis*
  • Lentigo / etiology
  • Lentigo / therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • Sunlight / adverse effects