A pre-cancer, also known as an actinic keratosis (AK) is a scaly spot found on sun-damaged skin. They are very common on sites repeatedly exposed to the sun, especially the backs of the hands and the face, most often affecting the ears, nose, cheeks, upper lip, temples, forehead and scalp.
A small percentage of AK’s can develop into basal or squamous cell carcinomas, so it is important to treat them early on to prevent this risk.
Pre-cancer Treatment Options
There are several treatment options depending on the location and number of pre-cancers on your skin. Freezing AK’s with liquid nitrogen is the standard treatment. There are also several prescription creams that can be used to target the damaged cells directly to field-treat an area that has numerous AK’s. Daily sun protection in sun-exposed areas is also important to prevent future pre-cancers.