Actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous)
What it is: Actinic keratosis is non-cancerous but an estimated 10 percent of these sores can morph into squamous cell carcinoma if they’re not removed. These patches usually develop in older adults in areas of the skin that have accumulated decades of UV exposure.
What it looks like: An actinic keratosis looks much like basal or squamous cell cancers, except that they tend to be smaller. In fact, many won’t even see it at first but may notice something rough on their skin. In many cases, patients will develop more than one actinic keratosis.
How it’s treated: Actinic keratosis is most often treated by freezing, burning, cutting out or scraping away the lesion.