Patient Education

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

The “precancerous” scaly or crusty growths (lesions) are caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.  They typically appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, bald scalp, lips, and the back of the hands, and are often elevated, rough in texture, and can resemble warts.  Most become red, but some will be tan, pink, red, and/or flesh-toned. Untreated AKs can advance to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Some experts believe that actinic keratosis is actually the earliest stage of SCC.


Actinic Keratosis Symptoms

  • Scaly bumps that appear on sun exposed skin
  • Can be red, pink, tan or skin colored
  • Growths can disappear and reappear
  • Sometimes itching and or tenderness occur

How our Dermatologists can Help You:

  • Perform a thorough skin exam to detect these spots.
  • Eliminate the damaged skin cells with a spray of liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)  or effective topical medications
  • Create a customized treatment plan to reduce these growths and reduce your chances of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma and other skin cancers.