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Dermatology/Light brown/tan spot on lower abdomen


Light brown/tan spot
Light brown/tan spot  
I have a light brown/tan spot on my lower abdomen. You can see my linea nigra running down the picture vertically, and also my underwear line running across horizontally. The light brown spot is in the lower left quadrant. I think the spot showed up during my recent pregnancy, but I'm not positive about that. (I gave birth about 8 months ago.) The spot doesn't really look like a mole, but I'm not sure what it could be. What do you think it is? And do you think I should see a dermatologist about it, that is, does it look dangerous? Thank you very much!

A lentigo (plural lentigines) is a small, pigmented flat or slightly raised spot with a clearly defined edge that is surrounded by normal-appearing skin. Lentigo or lentigines may evolve slowly over years, or they may appear suddenly. They may occur anywhere on the body and vary in colour from tan-brown to black. Viewed under the microscope a lentigo shows an increased number of normal melanocytes (skin cells that produce the pigment melanin that produces skin colour). Melanocytes appear to replace keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis.
Although lentigines are benign (non-cancerous) by nature they must be carefully examined to differentiate them from early pigmented skin cancers such as melanoma.


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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