SymptomsHave You Noticed:
- 1A skin sore that will not heal?
- 2A new unusual looking mole?
- 3A mole that has changed colour, size or shape?
- 4A spot that has started to itch or bleed?
- 5Lumps or spots on the skin that bleed easily when touched?
- 6Crusty or scaly spots on the skin?
If you have any of the symptoms listed above contact us for an urgent appointment.
Early detection of skin cancer
saves lives! 3
Sun spots, named Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are small, red, rough, scaly, or flat spots that feel like dry skin patches. They often occur on sun-exposed areas, such as the nose, ears, face, chest, forearms, and back of the hands.
Other common names include AK, AKs, Solar Keratosis, pre-cancers, and pre-skin cancers.
Should you experience sun spots on your skin Contact Us for an urgent check up.
What are my chances of my pre-cancers becoming skin cancers?
5%-20% of Actinic Kerateses may develop into skin cancers. It is not possible to tell which ones will do this. It is imperative they a monitored regularly to ensure skin cancer has not developed. Some AKs will never advance into anything else and some may fade away without treatment.
How is an Actinic Keratosis treated?
The best treatment for an AK is prevention by minimising sun exposure. When Actinic Keratoses have developed, the relevant ultraviolet radiation is often so far in the past that prudent preventive measures play a relatively small role. Fortunately, there are treatment methods available.
CRYOSURGERY: Freeze AKs with liquid nitrogen causing them to slough off and fade. Hypopigmented scars are a common result.
5-FLUORUACIL (5-FU): Creams containing this medication type cause AKs to become red and inflamed before they fall off. Although effective, this method often produces unsightly and uncomfortable skin for a period of weeks, thus making it an impractical solution.
This method is best for patients who have a great deal of sun damage and many AKs. Once the skin heals, it often looks much smoother and even-toned, in addition to having fewer Actinic Keratoses.
IMIQUIMOD (Aldara): An immune stimulator similar in its results and effects to 5-FU.
The treatment is effective but results in extremely unsightly skin for 4 to 6 weeks as it causes open sores and scabs before the skin heals.
DICLOFENAC (Solaraze): Solaraze is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, an agent related to ibuprofen and a popular medication for headaches. Diclofenac is gentler than 5-FU or Imiquimod treatments.
Whilst it causes less inflammation it must be applied for a longer period of time to achieve any benefits. Clearance rate is much less effective than 5-FU or Imiquimod treatments.
PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY (PDT): PDT involves cream application to sensitize the skin to light. The skin is then exposed to a laser or other light source to activate the cream.
Like 5-FU and Imiquimod, PDT works best for patients with many AKs. Patients will need to avoid exposure to sun or intense fluorescent light for two days following treatment to prevent ongoing peeling.
PDT provides much higher clearance rate and has been shown to be more pleasant treatment for patients, as there are no facial sores during treatment and the cosmetic result is usually above expectation.
PDT results have an average of 85% to 90% clearance.