Solar lentigo/freckles are flat spots which vary in colour from yellow-brown to dark brown-black, depending on skin tone. They are generally much larger than freckles being >5mm in width. The number and size of solar lentigos often increases with age, and in comparison to freckles, they do not fade much during the winter months. These are non-cancerous brown spots which are thought to develop in response to sun-exposure, especially in those with fairer skin.
Though freckles and solar lentigos are harmless, it is important to recognise certain differences between these and early malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer). If a brown spot with an irregular border or multiple colours has appeared recently, or if you have any doubts, please seek medical advice immediately. Adopting good sun-protection habits is the best way to prevent freckles and solar lentigines from developing or worsening.