Actinic Keratosis/ Precancerous Growths

Precancerous growths can be terrifying to face alone – we’re here to help. At Borealis Dermatology, we can provide diagnostics, biopsies, and immediate medical treatments to help alleviate your fears and ensure that it doesn’t advance to a cancerous stage.

What are Actinic Keratosis/ Precancerous Growths?

Precancerous skin growths consist of premalignant changes to the skin cells that increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer. Often appearing as a growth or lesion, actinic keratosis is found on sun-exposed areas of the skin and only affects the epidermis layer. When left untreated, it can progress into other conditions, such as squamous or basal cell carcinomas.

Did you know…

Actinic keratosis, also called solar keratosis, is the most recurring form of precancer to the skin. Although it’s usually benign, actinic keratosis has a 20% risk of progressing to a cancer when left untreated. It’s important to see a dermatologist regularly to detect and treat actinic keratosis early on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes Actinic Keratosis or Precancerous Growths?

Actinic keratosis typically develops when the skin gets damaged by ultraviolet radiation, as it is frequently found in people with a history of long-term sun exposure. While the specific cause of precancers is still unknown, risk factors that increase its likelihood are known; these include inadequate sun protection to the skin, older age, and fair and light skin.

What are the symptoms of Actinic Keratosis?

Any appearance of rough, scaly bumps on your skin can be a sign of actinic keratosis development. These bumps typically appear along the nose, cheeks, temples, ears, and balding scalps. They can also bleed, have burning sensations, be dry, and/or vary in color. You should seek a dermatologist’s care as soon as you notice such changes for a biopsy to ensure an early detection.

How are Actinic Keratosis/ Precancerous Growths treated?

Depending on your type of precancerous growth, our providers can effectively treat or remove the growth with urgency to protect your skin from cancer. These are some of the treatment options we offer:

  • Topical Creams: Certain prescription-level topical creams such as fluorouracil and diclofenac can be applied to help your immune system fight off the precancerous lesion.
  • Cryotherapy: The most common treatment used to treat actinic keratosis, cryotherapy freezes the lesion with liquid nitrogen. This causes the lesions to fall off, promoting new skin growth to heal and cover the wound.
  • Surgical Excision: Our providers can surgically remove the growth or lesion with a minor biopsy, allowing your skin to grow naturally and prevent its spread.

Schedule an appointment with one of our providers if you have a concerning mole or At Borealis Dermatology, we offer multiple treatment options for our patients in the Garden City, Syosset, Queens, and Long Island areas. You can experience the highest medical and aesthetic expertise by visiting us today.