It’s most commonly found on your face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck.
Also known as solar keratosis, an actinic keratosis enlarges slowly and usually causes no signs or symptoms other than a patch or small spot on your skin. These lesions take years to develop, usually first appearing in older adults.
A small percentage of actinic keratosis lesions can eventually become skin cancer. You can reduce your risk of actinic keratosis by minimizing your sun exposure and protecting your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The signs and symptoms of an actinic keratosis include:
Actinic keratoses are found primarily on areas exposed to the sun, including your face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp and neck.
Because it can be difficult to distinguish between noncancerous spots and cancerous ones, it’s best to have new skin changes evaluated by a doctor – especially if a spot or lesion persists, grows or bleeds.