Actinic keratoses (solar keratoses) Disease Treatment, Symptoms

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Actinic keratoses (solar keratoses) Disease Treatment, Symptoms

Actinic keratoses (solar keratoses)

Actinic keratoses (also called solar keratoses) are dry scaly patches of skin that have been damaged by the sun.

The patches are not usually serious. But there's a small chance they could become skin cancer, so it's important to avoid further damage to your skin.

Check if you have actinic keratoses

The patches:

  1. can feel dry, rough and scaly, or like sandpaper
  2. are usually between 1cm to 2cm in size
  3. can be the same colour as your skin or range from pink to red to brown
  4. may feel itchy

The patches usually appear on areas of your body that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands and arms, ears, scalp and legs.

Non-urgent advice:See a GP if

  • this is the first time you have noticed patches on your skin
  • the patches begin to bleed, get bigger, change colour, feel tender or develop into a lump
  • It's important to get these skin changes checked, in case they could be caused by something more serious, such as skin cancer.

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