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December 1959

Melanotic Freckle: Lentigo Maligna

Author Affiliations

New York

From Lenox Hill Hospital, St. Clare's Hospital, and private practice.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(6):753-771. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560240105012

Melanotic freckle is a pigmented, precancerous lesion that is clinically distinctive, sometimes difficult to interpret histopathologically, and which presents a problem in histological diagnosis, prognosis, and in treatment. It progresses slowly, sometimes to a malignant tumor stage (superficial melanocarcinoma) which may be indistinguishable from malignant melanoma, and yet its prognosis as to metastasis, morbidity, and mortality is comparatively favorable.

Dermatologic literature contains several comprehensive reports of this unusual entity since its original description by Hutchinson.1 Noteworthy are those of Dubreuilh,2,3 Meischer,4,5 Justitz,6 and more recently, Klauder and Beerman.7 There have been two hundred cases reported in all. The purpose of this presentation is to record twelve additional cases seen in private practice and clinic practice.


Melanotic freckle has been described under many names, such as senile freckle, infective melanotic freckle, melanose circonscrite precancereuse, lentigo malin des vieillards,

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