Actinic keratosis are flaky or scaly patches on the top layer of your skin. Actinic Keratosis appear in sun exposed areas (face, scalp, arms, hands and legs) and result from chronic sun exposure. With time, the patches can become hard with a wart-like surface that appears red/pink and may feel tender or itch. If left untreated for many years, Actinic Keratosis can turn into skin cancer (specifically squamous cell skin cancer).
Causes of Actinic Keratosis
Actinic Keratosis is caused by frequent and/or intense exposure to UV rays from either the sun or tanning beds.
Actinic Keratosis Treatment
There are many effective treatments to remove Actinic Keratosis:
These treatments are critical in preventing Actinic Keratosis from developing into a serious form of skin cancer.
Actinic Keratosis Risk Factors
Anyone can develop Actinic Keratosis. But you may be more susceptible if you:
Preventing Actinic Keratosis
One of the best ways to decrease the incidence of Actinic Keratosis is by limiting sun exposure and harmful UV rays. Wearing sunscreen daily of at least 30 SPF and wearing sun protection will also help in preventing these precancerous lesions. In recent studies the vitamin nicotinamide has also been shown to decrease the incidence of pre-cancers. Also, wearing an antioxidant cream in the morning can work in conjunction with your sunscreen in protecting against free radical damage that can contribute to pre-cancers and skin cancers.
If you need help managing your Actinic Keratosis, please call our offices for an appointment.