What Are the Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis?

  • Posted on: Jan 15 2024
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actinic keratosis Actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch that develops on your skin after years of being exposed to the sun. Common places for actinic keratosis to develop are on the forearms, face, ears, lips, neck, scalp, and the backs of your hands. If they go untreated, they can get hard and have a wart-like surface and eventually turn into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.

Keep reading to learn if you are at a higher risk of developing an actinic keratosis and how to identify their symptoms.

Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis

The symptoms of actinic keratosis can vary. You may exhibit one or more symptoms, including:

  • Rough, scaly, or dry skin patches of skin, usually smaller than an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
  • Hard, wart-like surface.
  • It may show as a flat or slightly raised bump.
  • It may itch, burn, crust over, or bleed.
  • It may be brown, red, or pink.
  • You may notice more patches on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to the sun, specifically your neck, head, forearms, and hands.

Risk Factors and Causes of Actinic Keratosis

Exposure to ultraviolet rays, whether from a tanning bed or the sun, can lead to actinic keratosis. That’s why it’s important to remember always to use sunscreen when you’re outside, even if you are not at the beach and even if it is cloudy out.

While anyone can develop this condition, you have a higher risk of developing it if you:

  • Have blond or red hair.
  • Have light-colored eyes.
  • Are over the age of 40.
  • Live in an area with more sunlight, such as near the equator.
  • Work outside.
  • Have a history of increased sun exposure.
  • Tend to burn when exposed to the sun.
  • Tend to freckle when exposed to the sun.
  • Have a weak immune system.

You can minimize the risks of actinic keratosis by using sunscreen and covering your skin if you work outside during the day.

Where To Find Education and Training Information on Actinic Keratosis in Peachtree Corners, GA

The American Society for Mohs Surgery offers skin cancer education and skin cancer surgery training in Peachtree Corners, GA. You can learn more about our programs by calling 714-379-6262 or by contacting us for an appointment.

Posted in: Skin Care

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