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Actinic Keratosis


Actinic Keratosis is a precancerous lesion that forms on the skin. Actinic Keratosis (AKs) can be small bumps, or larger patches appearing on the face, neck, and hands. Ranging in color from light to dark with differing shades of pink, brown, and red.

Actinic Keratosis can turn into a skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma, so it is important you see a dermatologist if any AKs’ emerge.

Several types can be more aggressive than others, so scheduling a visit for a correct diagnosis is key.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cause Of Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic Keratosis are caused by contact with Ultraviolet Rays, and most people get them if they spend a lot of time outside or if they are using, or have used, indoor tanning beds. When Ultraviolet light rays hit your skin, your skin then becomes damaged, leading to growths of keratinocytes on the skin, causing scaly patches that are both rough and hyper-pigmented. Genetics can also be a determining influence in how likely you are to get AKs.

The following can be associated with getting Actinic Keratosis:

Blonde, having fair skin, also a weak immune system, and/or burn easily in the sun. If you have any of the aforementioned you are more likely to develop Actinic Keratosis during your life. Actinic Keratosis can be risky because they are frequently the first step in development of skin cancer.

Actinic Keratosis Treatment

If you think you might have Actinic Keratosis, it is indeed important you see the dermatologist so that Dr. Porter can provide you with an accurate diagnosis. There are various types of treatments used to treat Actinic Keratosis.

Treatments may consist of:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Chemical Peel
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT or BLU light)
  • 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU or Efudex) Cream
  • Diclofenac Sodium Gel
  • Imiquimod Cream

There are many forms of treatment depending on the seriousness of your AKs. Some treatments are in-office, while some are medications used at home. For some they may need to have a combo of treatments and repeated treatments as well, because AKs can repeatedly appear during life.