Actinic Keratosis

Considered a pre-cancer skin condition, actinic keratoses are scaly, crusty growths. They most often appear on areas of the body most exposed to the sun, such as bald scalp, face, ears, lips, backs of the hands and forearms, and shoulders.

Usually appearing quite small, actinic keratoses are often discovered by touch. They feel like sandpaper and there are often more than one. Although most actinic keratoses remain benign, some studies report that up to ten percent may become squamous cell carcinoma. The presence of actinic keratoses indicates sun damage and other types of skin cancer may appear in the same area.

For more information, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation at