Pre-cancerous skin lesions are caused by frequent exposure to UV light. This can be from direct sunlight or the use of tanning beds. A skin lesion that itches, bleeds, grows, burns or is raised or crusting can be worrisome and should be examined by a board-certified dermatologist.
It may be difficult to distinguish between cancerous spots and the non-cancerous spots. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of a pre-cancerous skin lesion that should be evaluated:
- pink, brown or red color variations of skin
- wart like bumps or surfaces
- flat or raised patches of skin or bumps
- dry, scaly or rough skin or patches of skin
Risk factors or people with higher risk of developing actinic keratoses include individuals with red or blonde hair or light colored eyes. Also, individuals with a history of sunburn or excess sun exposure may more susceptible to developing pre-cancerous skin lesions. Individuals who live in a sunny climate or work outdoor or are prone to freckling or burning may also have an increased risk of developing a pre-cancerous skin lesion.