Actinic keratoses appear as red, rough scaling spots. These lesions appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ear, balding scalp, back of hand, forearm and leg. People usually have a few at a time, and the spots may sting or itch. Some actinic keratoses develop on the lower lip. While an actinic keratosis is not a skin cancer, it is considered to be precancerous. If left untreated, it can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Research has shown that people with actinic keratoses have an increased risk of developing other types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.