, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 151-164
Date: 21 Aug 2012

Lentigo Maligna

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Lentigo maligna is a premalignant melanocytic neoplasm occurring on the sun-exposed skin of the middle-aged and elderly. It is believed to represent the in situ phase of lentigo maligna melanoma and, as such, cure is usually the aim of treatment. However, factors such as site and size of lesion and patient co-morbidities may influence the treatment modality undertaken. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice to obtain clinical and histologic clearance, but many other modalities have been used with variable success. Mohs micrographic surgery is associated with the lowest recurrence rate at 4–5%, but conventional surgery, cryotherapy and radiotherapy also yield good results, with recurrence rates in the order of 7–10%. Other treatments have been tried but currently there are not enough data to support their routine use. In order to make the best decision regarding appropriate management of lentigo maligna, the dermatologist or surgeon must be aware of all the options available and the evidence supporting their use.