Skin cancer is a very common issue across the globe. Anybody can have it given that the risk factors are almost everywhere. This leads people to become highly vigilant of any signs or symptoms that can tell if they have skin cancer or not.
It’s normal to have bumps on the skin because these can be just allergic reactions to foreign substances or simply because of hormonal balance especially for females with pre-menstrual syndromes. But there is a certain skin bump that people should be aware of: actinic keratosis.
Important Things To Know About Actinic Keratosis
If there was previously an overexposure to sunlight or any artificial source of ultraviolet rays and bumps have started to surface it’s important to consult with your doctor. This can be actinic keratosis or also known as solar keratosis. These bumps are usually scaly and crusty in appearance. They may at first be detected through feeling and touching because it would seem like running your fingers through sandpaper. As they progress they may gain red coloration. These lesions commonly appear on areas that have been overly exposed to ultraviolet rays. Areas include (but are not limited to) bald scalps, shoulders, the face, and even arms. In some rare cases even exposure to x-rays can cause them.
Why the need for worry?
Some actinic keratosis can actually lead to skin cancer. Although not all of them develop into cancerous spots, 5-10% of actinic keratosis can become skin cancer if not treated immediately. For individuals to know whether these bumps can lead to skin cancer biopsies in clinics may be needed for further examination. It’s usually the non-healing AKs that progress to skin cancer but it’s always a good precaution to get them checked before things go to worse. And just to clarify things there is little chance for AKs to develop into melanoma skin cancer, the life-threatening type of skin cancer. However, people with actinic keratosis must understand they are highly susceptible to developing the melanoma type of skin cancer through continuous overexposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
It’s always good to protect oneself from the harmful rays of the sun to prevent any damage that can ultimately lead to skin cancer. Hats, body coverings, and clothing can help in lessening the skin damage brought by these rays. Also, the right sunscreen can work wonders for everybody planning to go outside. And if possible, avoid going out and exposing oneself directly to sunlight during peak hours (10 AM to 4PM).