If you have rough scaly patches on your face, arms or scalp, you may be experiencing actinic keratosis or AKs. This is a pre-cancerous condition that can develop into squamous cell carcinoma if it is left untreated. However if diagnosed early, your dermatologist can successfully treat these spots eliminating the risk of further damage. AK’s typically develop as a result of prolonged sun exposure and have the potential to become cancerous if not treated early.
Risk Factors of Actinic Keratosis
Although the entire population is at risk of developing this condition, you pose a greater risk if you:
- Live in an area with a lot of sun light like Central Florida
- Are easily sunburned or tend to freckle due to sunlight
- Have light colored eyes and/or hair
- Have a history of AKs
- Are older than 40 years old
- Have a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, leukemia, AIDs, organ transplant medications, etc.
What Exactly is Actinic Keratosis?
As mentioned above, actinic keratosis has the potential to progress into squamous cell carcinoma. They are precancerous lesions that appear as skin toned or reddish-brown scaly dry patches with a rough texture that will not go away. Sometimes they appear as small as a pinhead and other times larger than a quarter. They are typically found in areas that receive more sunlight, such as the face, scalp or ears.
Why Should AK’s be Treated?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer today. Statistics show that 10% of all individuals who experience AK’s will develop SCC within two years. There is no way to determine which actinic keratosis will develop into cancerous cells, so it is important to have regular checkups with a dermatologist for professional skin exams.
What Can We Offer You?
Our practice has the medical advances and technology necessary to give you the latest and most effective treatments. Our staff is highly trained with the medical education and experience needed to provide our patients with a comfortable, productive, and supportive environment. Occasionally, these rough patches are something else altogether. As dermatologists, our office is committed to preventing and treating a variety of skin conditions.
Lady Lake Dermatology & Mohs Surgery in The Villages and Leesburg Dermatology & Mohs Surgery in Leesburg Florida are experts regarding cancerous and pre-cancerous skin conditions. In our area of Central Florida, it is wise to consult a dermatologist annually. Contact our office for an appointment today.