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Solar Keratosis

Solar (Actinic) keratoses (sunspots) are precancerous lesions caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A proportion of actinic keratoses if left untreated may progress to skin cancer known as a squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratoses may appear as flat or thickened areas of red or pigmented scaly skin. They may sometimes be sensitive or tender. The presence of actinic keratoses is an indication of sun damage to your skin and so other signs of sun damage such as pigmentation, broken capillaries and fine lines may be present.

The type of treatment for your actinic keratoses will depend on the nature, number and location. Cryotherapy or liquid nitrogen therapy may be used to freeze the damaged cells. If you have a number of sunspots, then “field treatment” with a cream called 5-Fluoruracil or Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) may be appropriate.

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