As a Beauty Therapist/Somatologist, I am often asked about various skin conditions and how to determine which are potentially dangerous or not. It is very difficult to determine this in one simple step, but I do believe that it is of vital importance that everyone becomes as knowledgable as possible in order to understand what to look out for.
One of the more common lesions we come across is called a Solar/Actinic Keratosis.
Solar keratoses are rough, scaly spots that form on sun-damaged skin. People with fair skin are more likely to develop actinic keratoses on sun-exposed areas like the face, arms, hands, back of the neck, and upper chest. Limiting time in the sun helps prevent the formation of actinic keratoses. A good quality sunscreen is also great value.
Actinic keratoses are considered precancers, and over time, actinic keratoses may turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Removing actinic keratoses helps reduce the risk of skin cancer. Actinic keratoses can be removed surgically by cutting, freezing (cryosurgery), or burning. A topical medication called 5-fluorouracil may also be used to treat actinic keratoses. Photodynamic therapy uses a topical solution and a laser to remove the precancerous lesions.
Should you be concerned at all, rather be safe than sorry and get it checked out. This is a very treatable condition, provided it is detected and treated early.
Cheryl is the owner and one of three therapists at Sublime Skin & Body. She has many years of experience in the industry and is an accredited Beauty Therapy trainer and Environ Skin Product trainer.