Sunspots, also known as solar keratoses or actinic keratoses, are the most common skin condition caused by U.V. exposure from the sun. They are rough, scaly, firm and usually multiple, on sun exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, forearms, hands and lower legs. They can be viewed as pre-cancerous lesions, with a small percentage going on to become invasive Squamous Cell Carcinomas. As such they are best treated early.
Risk factors for sunspots are:
- Excessive exposure to UV radiation, including long-term exposure across the lifespan
- Fair skin
- Advanced age
- Male gender
- Past history of skin cancers
- Exposure to topical carcinogens, such as arsenic or coal tar
There are many treatment options, including phototherapy, cryotherapy, topical creams such as 5-Fluorouracil and Imiquimod, as well as surgical options like curettage.