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 a 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.