Common Precancerous Skin Lesions
Elevated spots or moles with an irregular texture can signal the development of a pre-cancerous skin lesion which can potentially lead to skin cancer and tumor growth in your skin. Look to the size, color, shape and texture of any growths on your skin. For example, if you notice your flesh has a pink tone or a red tone, or the texture seems irregular and elevated, or if the size is bothersome and looks different than usual, these are potential symptoms of skin cancer that require examination by a board-certified dermatologist.
The most common type of pre-cancerous lesions are Actinic Keratosis/Solar Keratosis. Below is a detailed description of AK to properly notice any unusual or new growth on your skin to prevent such lesions from turning into cancer.
Actinic Keratosis/Solar Keratosis
An actinic keratosis, also called a solar keratosis, is a small, scaly area caused by excessive sun exposure. These spots are most frequently found on the head, neck, hands, and other sun-exposed areas of the body. Individuals with fair skin and red or blonde hair are the most at risk for developing an actinic keratosis. The lesions may be elevated and have a rough texture.
The area often becomes red but may also be pink, tan, or flesh-toned. An untreated actinic keratosis has an increased chance of developing into a squamous cell carcinoma. Although rare, these lesions may also develop into basal cell carcinomas. Early treatment of these lesions is recommended since it is impossible to determine which spots will evolve into skin cancer. Cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen is the most common form of treatment. Your skin care expert at the Calabasas Dermatology Center may also prescribe topical anti-cancer medications, or Photodynamic Therapy (PDT or Blue Light) to treat areas with high amounts of precancerous change. Schedule an appointment today if you are concerned that you may have an actinic keratosis, and let a skin care professional at our office examine and treat any lesions that are concerning.