Harvard Health Blog

Topical treatment helps prevent actinic keratosis from developing into skin cancer

By: Kristina Liu, MD, MHS, Contributor Actinic keratoses are small, red, scaly spots that can feel like dry, sandpapery skin. They are a direct result of ultraviolet radiation, which is why they most commonly occur in sun-exposed areas, such as the face, forearms, and hands. Why are actinic keratoses a concern? If left untreated, some actinic keratoses can develop into squamous cell skin cancers. Actinic keratosis can develop in almost 40% of white patients…

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