Half of Australians over the age of 40 have solar keratosis (SK) – a.k.a sun spots; scaly, pre-cancerous spots found on sun-exposed areas like your scalp, face, hands and forearms.
If you’re worried you might have one AND your in your 40’s – Then this message is especially for you!
The ugly truth about sunspots is that they are also kinda dangerous, particularly if you miss their silent progression into skin cancer…😖
You see, SK (solar keratosis) carry the real potential to transform into nasty cancers – Squamous Cell Cancers (SCC’s). In case you haven’t heard, these are the ones with the potential to metastasise and trust me, that’s not good.
While there’s no need to panic if you get diagnosed with a SK (as only 1% will progress to a cancer) they should still be taken seriously.
It’s certainly a sign you should take skin checking seriously AND need annual skin checks.
It’s hardly surprising that our Sunburnt Country has the highest rate of SK development, globally. As a nation, we’re either guilty of being fair-skinned or having too much fun in the sun!
Why not do something positive thing for your health. I’m encouraging those close to 50 to book a skin check today!
Basically, the trick is to catch Solar Keratoses (SK) early, treat ALL of them and then prevent more from coming.
But Firstly a Quick Explainer on SK
SK are mainly caused by ultraviolet radiation induced skin damage forming a continuum that in some cases result in skin cancer development.
They are diagnosed by simple physical examination, in fact, every time I examine a patient I explain they can be better-felt-than-seen; crusty or scaly spots that can sometimes itch, burn or sting.
Studies have shown that it takes about two years for previously confirmed sunspot to transform into a nasty SCC which forms the basis of my “golden opportunity” time to do more for your skin than just start buying sunscreen.
Start seeing the appearance of Sun Damaged Skin as your “golden opportunity” to get New Skin by using “field treatments” – the ones that actually reduce your overall skin cancer risk by treating ALL your sun damaged skin!
“Make sun damage your golden opportunity to reverse the signs of sun, age and pollution damage…”
Let me explain more.
In areas where SK are found, the field of surrounding skin, although may appear normal, often houses pre-cancerous cells risking the potential development of solar keratosis, Bowen’s disease and Squamous Cell Cancers.
This means is preferable to treat large areas of Sun Damage Skin on faces, scalps, hands, arms or décolletage all at once rather than just “spots” – this is why we call it a “field treatment”.
The old days of seeing your local doctor to burn off the barnacles-of-age with a quick spray of cryo will be superseded by newer treatments (that just so happen to make you look younger!)
The growing movement away from “Spot treatment” to “Field treatment” has been a game-changer in General Practice.
Although spot directed treatment like liquid nitrogen is still appropriate, field-directed treatment is now the preferred option because it has the potential to target both the visible and the non-visible lesions under the surface.
For sun spot (or Solar Keratosis) removal in Sydney, please make an appointment with the Taylor Clinic
Dr Suzie GP MBBS (Hon) UNSW FRACGP is a highly experienced female General Practitioner with a special interest in in Cosmetic Medicine, especially Laser Medicine