5 Facts about Precancerous Skin Growths you need to Know

New York City and Manhattan NY

There is nothing more frightening to hear when you are at the doctor’s office than the word “cancer.” Practically everyone knows what that word means, and it undoubtedly sends fear and panic through your mind. The good news is that with routine skin exams by a board-certified dermatologist, your doctor can identify problems spots before they develop into actual cancer. This is what we refer to as precancerous skin growths (also called actinic keratoses (AKs) or solar keratosis), and here are five facts you need to know about them.

  1. Treatment could prevent the spot from developing into cancer

Precancerous growths sometimes can develop into cancer, which is why removing them in the earliest stages is best, and recommended. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer, although your dermatologist has no way of determining which type of skin cancer your growth could progress to, which is why removing it is the best option.

  1. Treatment can relieve symptoms

Precancerous spots often can be irritating causing tenderness or itching, which could lead to bleeding. By treating the spots and removing them, you also can be free of those irritating symptoms.

  1. You may need repeat or multiple treatments

Treating precancerous spots may seem like a simple one and done job, but that isn’t always the case. For some patients, they may require a repeat treatment, or multiple treatments to make sure the entire problem area has been removed or treated. Treatment may include a combination of any one of the following such as cryotherapy, excising the skin, or the application of medication at home. We will recommend the best method of treatment based on your case.

  1. Use sun protectant to keep your skin healthy

Some patients who already have precancerous spots think there is no use in applying sunscreen at this point. But, protecting your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen daily, or protective clothing such as a hat, long sleeves, and pants, helps prevent more skin damage from occurring, and may even help keep any precancerous spots from turning into something more dangerous. Protect your skin from giving it a chance to repair some of the damage that may have already been caused by the sun or ultraviolet lights.

  1. Lifelong skin cancer exams are a must

Once you have precancerous spots, you are more likely to get more down the road, and therefore, need to commit to lifelong skin cancer exams by a board-certified dermatologist. When you meet with our Manhattan area dermatologists at NY Skin RX, we will recommend how often you need to visit us for an exam, based on your particular skin condition and risks.

Skin Cancer Check in Manhattan

Skin cancer exams can save your life. Early treatment of precancerous skin spots are essential. To learn more about skin cancer, or to schedule an appointment, please call NY Skin RX at (212) 288-3200.

NY Skin RX serves the New York City areas of Manhattan and the Upper East Side.

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