As the largest organ of the human body, the skin is constantly changing and adapting to its environment. Throughout the warmer months, the skin will produce a greater amount of pigment. This pigmentation allows the skin to become tan and help protect it from sun burn. However, this protection is only achievable with the help of sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Skin that is constantly left exposed to the sun without protection will receive significant damage. Actinic keratosis is directly related to sun damage and is the earliest form of skin cancer.
Most people do not develop actinic keratosis until they are age 40 or older. This is because this skin condition develops from years of exposure to the sun. In many cases, actinic keratosis begins as a small dark spot on the skin and over time it will form into a scaly, rough patch. This skin condition is most often found on the forehead, scalp, face, lips, ears, back of the hands, or neck as these are areas of the body that receive a great deal of sunlight consistently.
It is often difficult to discriminate between cancerous spots on the skin and noncancerous ones. For this reason alone, anytime you find a suspicious “spot” on your skin (whether it is a mole, a dark spot, a dry patch, a growth or lesion of any kind, etc.) it needs to be evaluated by a medical dermatologist. When treated early on, the majority of actinic keratosis cases can be cleared up or removed before they develop into skin cancer.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists in Atlanta, we take your skin concerns seriously. Any time you have a sun spot on your skin that is persistent or that begins to change, it needs to be evaluated. With her extensive research background and experience, Dr. Jamie Weisman leads our dermatology center as a nationally recognized dermatologist who specializes in the treatment of actinic keratosis.
If you have any suspicious spot on your skin, or any area of concern regarding your skin’s health, please contact Medical Dermatology Specialists today. We are proud to provider personalized and advanced actinic keratosis treatment options, and we are also proud to educate our patients about the proper ways to prevent sun damage to your skin. Our practice looks forward to serving you and making sure you are healthy on the inside and out.