Over 90% of all skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Here in Hawaii, we know all too well how easy it is to forget to protect yourself during your daily activities. Exposure is cumulative. Each unprotected exposure increases one's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Fortunately, most skin cancers are visible and can be diagnosed early and successfully treated before they spread to other parts of the body. In fact, many lesions can be detected and treated at a precancerous or preinvasive stage-the point at which their cells have not yet penetrated beyond the surface of the skin. Naturally, preventing the formation of these precancers before they occur is even better.
Actinic Keratosis (AK) also known as solar keratosis, is the most common type of precancerous skin lesion. The more time an individual spends in the sun, the greater the odds of developing AK. People with fair skin, freckles, blonde/red hair, blue/green/gray eyes are more susceptible to sun damage. However anyone can develop skin cancer. AK's typically occur on the face, lips, ears, scalp, neck, back of hands, shoulders, forearms and back.