Solar lentigo, also called age spots, is a common form of hyperpigmentation, especially in adults older than 50, caused by natural or artificial ultraviolet light exposure.
What are age spots?
Solar lentigo, also known as age spots, sun spots or liver spots, is a common form of hyperpigmentation. They appear as small, flat and darkened areas that frequently appear on the face, hands and other parts of the body regularly exposed to the sun.
They are very common in adults older than 50, but they can also occur earlier. Age spots may affect people of all skin types, but they're more common in adults with lighter skin. Unlike freckles, which are common in children and fade with no sun exposure, age spots don't fade.
This pigmentation disorder is caused by an increased production of melanin, the natural pigment that gives our skin its color. Melanin acts as your skin’s natural sunscreen by protecting you from harmful UV rays, but excessive sun exposure increases the amount of melanin the skin produces. As the alternative name, sun spots suggests, these dark spots are most commonly triggered by over-exposure to the sun.
Even though age spots are non-life threatening changes to the skin and do not cause pain, then can put affected individuals under emotional distress. On rare occasions, it can be difficult to differentiate between an irregular age spot and melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
Scoring methods used to assess age spots and the ageing process of the skin
Several skin aging assessment scales exist but no standard scale is widely used. Chronologic age and solar damage are the most important intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with skin aging. Merz Aesthetics Scale (MAS), Score of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Skin Aging (SCINEXA), Skin Aging Score (SAS) are among the scoring systems used to assess skin aging. These scoring systems are used in assessing the extent of skin ageing in individuals. The main limitations of most of the scoring systems include that they are focusing on Caucasian populations, furthermore they are time consuming and they lack clear terminology, therefore they lack the objectivity and standardization from the assessment method.
Age spots themselves are usually assessed by their clinical appearance. The most commonly used diagnostic method used by dermatologists is dermoscopy, where the area of interest is examined using a skin surface microscopy, helping the assessment of pigmented skin lesions. The pigmentation of lesions is then evaluated according to the colour and structure, however the assessment is dependent on the interpretation of the practitioner, thus it lacks objectivity.
Dermatologists therefore are in high need for a technology, which delivers a standardized and objective documentation and assessment tool, allowing the assessment of lentigo solaris in a clinical setting.
Assessment of age spots by standardized digital technology
SCARLETRED is a digital health company introducing standardization and objectivity in the process of skin imaging and assessment.
Scarletred®Vision is an AI-powered software enabling high quality documentation and analysis of visible pigmentation changes on the skin surface. The CE medical device certified technology ensures the objective imaging and secure documentation to assess and monitor age spots. The technology is well accepted by regulatory bodies worldwide, allowing the faster gain of knowledge on pigmentation disorders, including age spots.
The Scarletred®Vision system consists of a mobile app, a web platform and skin patches, which can be easily applied even on sensitive skin types. The app together with the platform creates a secure data storage and information flow between patients and professionals. The real-time based visual documentation grants enhanced efficiency and reliability of the monitoring of skin discoloration and pigmentation disorders.
Color quantification is based on the objective visual information obtained from the Scarletred®Vision app. The integrated customizable tools allow the standardized assessment of solaris lentigo using CIELAB color space on the Scarletred®Vision platform. The platform functions as a secure documentation tool providing objective measurement through the integrated remote data monitoring level and built-in customizable service tools, ensuring the safety, accuracy and objectivity of assessment and monitoring.
Age spots are a very commonly occurring pigmentation disorder in adults caused by excessive exposure to natural or artificial UV light. Even though solaris lentigo is not a life threatening or painful condition, it can put affected individuals under emotional distress. The digital technology of SCARLETRED overcomes the limitations of conventional assessment methods and provides a standardized means of assessment of age spots.