Has your dermatologist informed you that you have an actinic keratosis? If so, then you may have some confusion about what this means for your health due to misunderstandings that people have about these growths and skin cancer. Continue reading to learn the truth regarding myths about actinic keratoses.
Myth #1: Actinic keratoses aren’t dangerous.
Because an actinic keratosis is not cancerous, many people underestimate the danger of these lesions. While it is true that most actinic keratoses are benign, their presence reveals that sun damage has occurred in the area and that the skin may develop cancer.
Myth #2: Actinic keratoses do not require treatment.
If you have just one actinic keratosis, you may feel reluctant to bother with treatment. It’s important to realize that if you have one of these lesions, then you may develop more of them. The more actinic keratoses that you have and leave untreated, the more likely it is that one or more of them will become a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is a type of skin cancer. An SCC can be life-threatening if it goes unaddressed, so seeking immediate treatment for an actinic keratosis is ideal.
Myth #3: Skin cancer is not life-threatening.
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Because so many people develop cancerous growths on their skin that are easily treated, many individuals underestimate how dangerous some forms of skin cancer can be. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 87,000 new cases of melanoma, which results in most skin cancer deaths, will be diagnosed in 2017. Actinic keratoses are the most common type of precancer, so you can help protect your health by seeing a dermatologist for treatment if you have one or more of these skin lesions.
Arlington Dermatology offers several options for actinic keratosis treatment in Arlington Heights. To find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dermatologist, please give us a call today at 847-392-5440.