Left untreated, up to 10% of actinic keratoses will develop into squamous cell skin cancer. About 40% to 60% of squamous cell cancer cases begin as actinic keratosis. If you think you might have actinic keratosis, see your healthcare provider. Identifying and treating it early can help prevent skin cancer from developing.

Friction. You can get blisters when something rubs against your skin, like a tool handle or a new pair of shoes. Unlike corns and calluses, which show up after rubbing that’s gone on for a long time, friction blisters come from brief, intense contact on a small area.

Signs of cancerous skin lesions include any changes in the skin, including new growths, changes to existing growths, and growths that have difficulty healing.

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Acne presents primarily as papules. It can also cause pustules, nodules, or cysts. Acne is most common on the following places:

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Cold sores can be red, painful, and cause fluid-filled blisters. You may feel tingling before the sore appears. Because they are caused by a virus, you may also have flu-like symptoms.

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Acne can leave scars if not treated.

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However, oral or genital outbreaks may be caused by either virus.

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Symptoms of cellulitis include:

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When to Seek Medical Attention

Not usually. However, some types of lesions can become cancerous. One example is actinic keratosis, a rough, scaly patch or bump on the skin caused by UV damage. Actinic keratosis lesions can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. This type of lesion is often called “precancerous.”

Healthcare providers are often able to diagnose skin lesions simply by looking at them. But they may order additional tests to confirm a diagnosis, including:

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Cellulitis feels hot to the touch. It can also cause a fever and you may feel unwell.

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Ongoing skin conditions like acne, eczema, or psoriasis often require treatment by a dermatologist, or skin specialist. Others, like impetigo, can be treated by your primary care provider. And some—like blisters and chickenpox—go away on their own.

Your provider will ask you questions about the lesion, like when you noticed the change in your skin, and whether or not the lesion itches. You can also expect them to inquire about any allergies or health conditions that you have, medications you are taking, and other pieces of your medical history.

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