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Precancerous Lesions

Precancerous Lesions services offered in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Punta Gorda, FL

At least 58 million Americans have one or more precancerous lesions. At Associates in Dermatology, the team of skin cancer specialists is adept in detecting and treating precancerous lesions in their early stages so you can prevent skin cancer later. With offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Punta Gorda, Florida, you always have a convenient place to go for expert empathetic care. Book your appointment through online scheduling or call the office nearest you today.

What are precancerous lesions?

Precancerous lesions, also called actinic keratoses, are patches of skin that are damaged by the sun. The growths occur in the top layer of skin. Without treatment, some actinic keratoses may develop into squamous cell skin cancer, so the lesions are sometimes called precancers.

What do precancerous lesions look like? 

Precancerous lesions can look like: 

  • Rough patches of skin
  • Scaly bumps that resemble pimples
  • Raised pink or red patches
  • Flat darker spots on skin
  • Scaly dry areas on the lip
  • White patches on your lip
  • Loss of lip pigment
  • Hornlike growths 

Precancerous lesions may look like skin cancers, age spots, acne, or other skin problems, so it’s important to reach out to the Associates in Dermatology team if you develop any new growth on your skin.

How are precancerous lesions treated?

There are a broad range of treatments for precancerous lesions. The Associates in Dermatology team recommends a personalized solution based on the number of lesions, where they appear, what they look like, and your risk level for skin cancer. The main treatment options include:

Chemical peels

Chemical peels involve applying specific acids that trigger skin peeling. They essentially remove the top layer of skin, taking the precancerous lesions with it. 

Photodynamic therapy

With photodynamic therapy, the team applies a special solution to your skin and then exposes it to a certain kind of light. The solution reacts to the light by destroying the precancerous lesion. 


Curettage is a treatment to scrape away the precancerous lesion. It may be a good option for very thick lesions. Afterward, the team may perform electrodesiccation, which involves heating the area to kill lingering precancerous cells.


Cryosurgery involves applying liquid nitrogen to the precancerous lesion. This extremely cold substance freezes the growth, killing the precancerous cells. It often turns into a crust or blister, which falls off naturally in a week or so.

How can I prevent precancerous lesions?

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is the best way to prevent precancerous lesions. The Associates in Dermatology team recommends wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and a lip balm or lipstick with SPF 15 or higher. 

Make sure all of the surfaces exposed to the sun are covered, and add a hat and sunglasses for extra sun protection.    

Call Associates in Dermatology or book your appointment online today.