Actinic keratosis or sunspots as they are more commonly referred to as are dark patches on the skin that develop as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun.
Sunspots often develop on exposed areas such as the face, neck, back of hands and forearms. These epidermal spots vary in size and can appear in different ways from smaller brown spots to larger skin-toned patches. Despite being quite harsh in appearance, they are generally not a threat to your body or skin. Even though this can also develop into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the risks of developing this is less likely than other forms of skin cancer. Other types of superficial pigmentations include age spots, freckles and pigmented birthmarks.
What causes sunspots?
It is interesting that the combination of physical factors indicates the likelihood of an individual developing actinic keratosis. Those with fairer skin, blonde or red hair in addition to having lighter eye colours such as blue or green are at higher risk of developing it. Having a history of severe sunburns also increases the risk of developing the spots. It is ideal to note that the development of cancer for this condition is low. However, the risk still exists and as such, it is best to contact a professional if you see changes to the patches.