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What Is Solar Keratosis?

If you’ve noticed new dry, scaly, or rough patches of skin, you might have actinic keratosis. Also called solar keratosis, this condition forms due to chronic sun exposure. While it’s often benign, actinic keratosis is also one of the most common forms of precancer our board-certified dermatologists at SkinSmart Dermatology® treat. If you suspect you have actinic keratosis, scheduling a skin screening will ensure you get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

What Does Solar Keratosis Look Like?

It’s easy to write off actinic keratosis as a harmless skin condition, but you should book a checkup with our dermatologists if you have the following symptoms:

  • Rough, scaly, dry patches of skin, usually less than one inch in diameter
  • New patches or bumps in sun-exposed areas
  • A hard flat surface or slightly raised bump on the skin
  • Red, brown, pink, and white color variations
  • Itching, crusting, bleeding, or burning around the patches

Part of the reason solar keratosis earned its nickname is that it tends to appear in areas you get the most UV exposure, including the ears, face, lips, forearms, scalp, or neck. Avoiding tanning beds, applying a high SPF sunscreen daily, and wearing protective hats or clothing can reduce your risk of developing actinic keratosis.

Can You Get Rid of Solar Keratosis?

In about 10% of cases, actinic keratosis develops into squamous cell carcinoma, so it’s essential to visit a dermatologist if you notice any atypical skin growths. Fortunately, solar keratosis treatment options are quick and effective. 

Removal methods include cryotherapy (freezing), chemical peels, curettage (scraping), or prescription medication. Once our skilled providers remove your solar keratosis, you’ll enjoy peace of mind that you’ve reduced your skin cancer risk as well as the cosmetic benefits of smoother, clearer skin.

Find a Dermatologist in Sarasota to Treat Actinic Keratosis

While the word “precancerous” always sounds a little scary, solar keratosis is nothing to fear. Our highly skilled providers have successfully treated countless patients with actinic keratosis. We also offer comprehensive skin cancer screenings to catch and treat atypical growths quickly, so you can rest assured your health is in good hands. If you think you might have solar keratosis, schedule an appointment SkinSmart Dermatology® in Sarasota, Florida by calling 941-308-7546.

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