Pre-skin cancer manifests as rough red spots on the skin, most commonly on the face, scalp, ears, arms, and hands. This condition develops as a result of sun damage caused by longstanding sun exposure. Pre-skin cancer is classified as such because, if left alone, it has the potential to develop into one of the many types of skin cancers, such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma.
Pre-skin cancers often begin as small changes to your skin, and may be new growths or precancerous lesions. Pre-skin cancers are usually asymptomatic, meaning that they do not produce any obvious symptoms of skin cancer, though they may produce a slight stinging sensation.
There are multiple forms of pre-skin cancer. We invite you to learn more about the most common form, actinic keratosis, here:
A small percentage of pre-skin cancers develop into skin cancer, and all cases should be treated by a dermatologist to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Dr. Michael J. Messina may treat pre-skin cancer with liquid nitrogen or a topical medication, such as Aldara or Efudex. These treatments destroy pre-skin cancer cells without affecting the surrounding healthy cells.
We encourage you to notify our office if you discover an unusual skin spot or growth on any area of your body, especially one that has received significant sun exposure. Call 760-773-6616 if you would like to schedule an appointment with our dermatologist and discuss your risk of pre-skin cancer in Palm Desert, California. We look forward to addressing any concerns you have.