Sun Spots

Actinic (solar) keratoses are common and are an indicator of skin damage from previous sun exposure. They are scaly lesions found on sun-exposed skin sites including the scalp, face, ears, neck and backs of hands. They may cause irritation or itching especially with sweating or sun exposure. They are considered pre-cancerous and can progress to squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) in the longer term. Importantly, a skin check is advised since a coexisting skin cancer can be found in up to 50% of individuals with actinic keratoses.

Individual solar keratosis can be treated by cryotherapy (freezing). However, patients with multiple lesions usually have significant sun damage requiring the whole field (area) to be treated. A range of field treatment options is available including imiquimod (Aldara), 5-fluorouracil (Efudix), diclofenac (Solaraze), ingenol mebutate (Picato) and photodynamic therapy. Each treatment modality has its own pros and cons requiring the treatment to be individualized to your own circumstances. Dermatologists at our clinic can advise on the most appropriate treatment for you.