have actinic keratosis, you may have an increased risk of developing squamous
cell carcinoma. There is no way to determine whether actinic keratosis will
progress to squamous cell carcinoma or how fast this might occur. Keratoses on
the ear and lip are at the highest risk of developing into cancer because of
the sensitivity of the ear and lip to sun exposure.
How can I prevent actinic keratosis?
You can help
prevent actinic keratosis by staying out of the sun and using sunscreen when
you are in the sun. You should also
examine your skin for the condition and other suspicious growths once a month,
especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun.
To protect your skin:
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially from 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m., the hours of peak
ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, a
long-sleeved shirt, and pants.
Wear sunglasses that block out UV rays.
Use a sunscreen that blocks ultraviolet rays (both UVA and
UVB) and has a
sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every day,
all year, even when it is cloudy.
Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, which emit UV radiation
and can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.