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Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

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Actinic keratosis facts

  • An actinic keratosis is a small, rough spot occurring on skin that has been chronically exposed to the sun.
  • Actinic keratosis is also known as a solar keratosis.
  • Actinic keratoses occur most commonly in fair-skinned people after years of sun exposure.
  • Common locations for actinic keratoses are the face, scalp, ears, back of the neck, upper chest, as well as the tops of the hands and forearms.
  • Actinic keratoses are precancerous, which means they can develop into invasive skin cancer.
  • Doctors can usually diagnose an actinic keratosis simply by physical examination.
  • It is best to prevent actinic keratoses by minimizing sun exposure.
  • Treatments for actinic keratoses include cryosurgery, scraping or burning, 5-fluorouracil cream, imiquimod (Aldara), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Cambia), ingenol mebutate (Picato), TCA skin peels, and photodynamic therapy.

What is an actinic keratosis? What causes actinic keratoses?

An actinic keratosis (AK) is a small, rough spot occurring on skin that develops because of chronic sun exposure. Actinic keratoses characteristically appear on photo-damaged skin. Actinic keratosis is also referred to as a solar keratosis.

Specialized forms of actinic keratoses include cutaneous horns, in which the skin protrudes in a thick, hornlike manner, and actinic cheilitis, a scaling and roughness of the lower lip and blurring of the border of the lip and adjacent skin. There are other causes of cutaneous horns, including warts and age spots (seborrheic keratoses).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/actinic_keratosis/article.htm

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