Apart from the physiological ageing of the skin, there are many factors that lead to the formation of spots on the face; in some cases, they are the symptom of certain serious illnesses (melanoma, diabetes, lupus, Addison's disease and neurofibromatosis are just a few of these), in other cases, they derive from disorders of various kinds, the major ones including various forms of lentigo (solar lentigo, senile lentigo and lentigo simplex), that we shall briefly analyse below.
- Solar lentigo are dark spots which are transient in nature that affect the superficial layer of the epidermis; in addition to the face, it usually appears on all skin areas with extended exposed to solar radiation. Solar lentigo is usually manifested during the summer months.
- Senile lentigo are spots associated with an uneven production of melanin. As the name suggests, it relates to imperfections associated with ageing skin and is more probable with prolonged and repeated exposure to solar radiation. Those most affected by this problem are those with skin types 1 and 2.
- Lentigo simplex (also known as juvenile lentigo) is a very small pigmentary spot; its colour is a varying hue of brown and can be a single spot or a group of generally small spots; they usually appear at a young age, but can also occur at an older age. In younger people, it tends to regress after thirty years of age.
- Freckles are another type of facial blemish. These peculiar spots can be acquired or congenital and can occur anywhere on the body, although they are most frequently found on the face.
- Even ephelides, often confused with freckles, are small skin blemishes that have no pathological significance. They differ from freckles because their colour is lighter and because they are subject to seasonal variation (they tend to get worse during the summer months). People with blonde or red hair and those having skin types 1 and 2 are those most affected.
- Melasma, perhaps better known as the mask of pregnancy, is instead an alteration in skin colour that affects women who are pregnant; in some cases, however, it can occur in women taking birth control pills or those taking hydantoin (antiepileptic drug); there is also an idiopathic form.
- Rosacea is a skin lesion present around the cheeks, cheekbones and nostrils, which is manifested by micro teleangectasia essentially linked to capillary fragility.