Pre-Cancer Spots (Actinic keratosis)

Precancerous skin growths form on skin that has been exposed to a lot of sun over time. If your skin has not been protected from the sun, you may have precancerous skin growths. These growths termed AKs (Actinic keratosis) typically appear beyond the age of 40.

AKs are commonplace and affect a large number of people. UV (ultraviolet) damage to the skin causes them. Squamous cell skin cancer can develop from some actinic keratoses. As a result, the lesions are frequently referred to as pre-cancer spots.

If you reside in a region that receives significant sunlight throughout the year, such as Arizona or Florida, and don’t protect your skin from the sun, you may get Actinic keratosis sooner. Additionally, AKs frequently manifest themselves early in those who use tanning beds and sun lamps.

Certain individuals are at a greater risk than others, including the following:

  • Pale skinned individuals with blonde or red hair and blue, green, or gray eyes
  • Individuals with darker complexion, hair, and eyes who have been unprotected from UV rays
  • Senior citizens
  • Individuals whose immune systems have been weakened as a result of chemotherapy, AIDS, organ transplantation, or other causes
  • Individuals who suffer from uncommon diseases that render their skin very susceptible to UV radiation, such as albinism or xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)

Signs Of Pre-Cancer to Look For

The indications that you have AKs are frequently subtle. AKs typically begin as a rough area on the skin. When the rough spot is rubbed, it may feel painful. They frequently develop on the face characterized by dry, scaly skin with pink or red areas. It’s also prevalent on the backs of the hands, an area of the skin that has been exposed to sunlight for an extended time. It may show as white, scaly, wart-like growths.

Complications Of Actinic Keratoses

The primary issue is that actinic keratoses are associated with an increased risk of squamous cell cancer. It is uncommon for solitary precancerous skin growths to progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). 

The probability of developing SCC in a patient with more than ten actinic keratoses is estimated to be between 10% and 15%. Squamous cell carcinoma is suspected when an actinic keratosis is sensitive, thicker, ulcerated, or expanding.

Schedule a Skin Cancer Screening with Buckeye Dermatology

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between noncancerous and cancerous lesions. It is advisable to have any new skin changes reviewed by a physician knowledgeable of skin cancer. Particularly if a scaly spot or patch continues, develops, or bleeds.

Actinic keratosis can be cleared up or removed if detected early. If treatment is delayed, any of these spots may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer often not fatal when discovered and treated early.

If you notice any pre-cancer spots on your or your family’s skin, please get in touch with Buckeye Dermatology and make an appointment for a skin cancer screening.

Contact us soon to have an expert skin cancer screening and skin cancer treatment in our office today. Call (602) 754-6075.