View Full Version : Question about Actinic Keratosis

09-11-2008, 08:07 PM
Two years ago I had a small, flat, rough red spot on the back of my hand that would sting when I sweated. I began treating it with retin-a at my husbands suggestion (he's had numerous basal cell and one squamous cell cancer). I had the physician's assistant in his dermatologist's office take a look at it and he said that it was just an actinic keratosis and to stop applying the retin-a as i was just making it worse. I questioned that but he insisted and said I should only use sunblock. Went back last summer for another skin issue and again requested that he look at this spot as it seemed a bit rougher and redder. He told me again it was nothing. About a month ago it was really stinging and I looked more closely at it and realized that it is now a raised bump (about 7mm in diameter) that is red around the edges with a white crusty center. I don't really want to revisit this physician's assistant. Do y'all think this is just actinic keratosis, should I do nothing, treat it myself with retin-a or should I go to a different derm's office? Thanks for any advise. Rose

09-12-2008, 04:44 AM
I had a very similar growth on my hand, I kept pointing it out to my Dermatologist for a year or more. It was a crusty, warty looking white growth. They finally did a biopsy early this year, it was a Squamous Cell Carcinoma, they removed it with a currette as the cancer itself was growing toward the outside.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the Dermatologist's reason for waiting to remove a growth, my experience has been that sometimes they do take a watch and wait attitude. I go in for a skin check every six months so nothing gets out of control.

12-27-2009, 08:57 PM
Hello Rose,
I'm new to the board and just saw your post. Did you ever get a final diagnosis on your situation? ab I have something (only larger, about 1/2 inch) on my finger that sounds exactly as you described. For about a year you could not even see it, it was just a "hard" area, same color as surrounding skin. I was told, it's keratosis, nothing to worry about so I ignored it, not knowing there were several types.Then many months later it got irritated with hot water from hand washing and would peel off and heel back to the same looking thing where you could not really see anything.

Now maybe 1 /2 years since I first saw it, the top layer came off again and it is healing to look like what you described where the red raw part is staying only at the border, and the middle is flesh/whitish. I am really scared and hope 1 1/2 to 2 years is not too long to where this thing has maybe turned cancerous and spread. I assume that if the nearest lymph nodes (at elbow area?) are not tender so far I am ok? Getting appt as soon as I can but difficult to get. I did grow up in the sun and got too much, so this is scary.
Thanks for any thoughts!