When pigmented lesions are diagnosed as actinic keratosis by your Tampa dermatologistSkin cancer is not a topic of discussion most of us want to engage in. However, we encourage our patients to learn about the early signs of skin cancer, such as actinic keratoses, so that we may provide appropriate care as quickly as possible. If you live in the Tampa area and are concerned about any mole or growth on your body, schedule a visit with Dr. Lombardi. By using the latest diagnostic instruments, an accurate diagnosis can be made.
What are actinic keratosesActinic keratosis is an early indicator of skin cancer. These lesions may appear pink, red, or tan. They may look bumpy, scaly, or crusty. The growth may form as a flat, rough surface, or it may be raised. They vary in size, from a single millimeter to a few centimeters in diameter. While there are several ways in which these growths may present, your dermatologist can determine if a pigmented lesion is, an early sign of skin cancer.
Often, touch is a better sense to use than sight when it comes to recognizing actinic keratosis. Some of the physical sensations that may indicate this condition include a growth that itches or becomes tender at times. Some of these lesions may feel "tingly" or "prickly," and they most often have a rough texture. Because they are caused by UV damage, the location of a pigmented lesion can also give you clues as to its type. Actinic keratoses tend to develop on areas such as the:
- Face, including the lips
- Head, including the scalp and ears
Treatment for actinic keratosisUnderstandably, you may feel concerned if you are told you have one or more precancerous growths on your body. Remember, melanoma skin cancer is far less common than other, less serious forms of skin cancer. Also, actinic keratosis can be treated, reducing the risk that the growth will progress to basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. Some of the options for treatment include:
Chemical peels, which exfoliate dead and damaged cells from the skin's surface.
Topical medication to destroy abnormal cells.
Cryosurgery, which freezes abnormal cells with liquid nitrogen. The frozen cells will be destroyed and will fall off of the skin.
Lombardi Institute of Dermatology focuses on care and prevention. We will remove suspicious growths as needed, and will discuss ways to protect your skin in the future. To learn more about pigmented lesions or to schedule your consultation, call 813-642-3164.