Actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch or bump on the skin. It’s also known as a solar keratosis. Actinic keratoses are very common, and many people have them. They are caused by ultraviolet (UV) damage to the skin. Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. Because of this, the lesions are often called precancer. They are not life-threatening if they are found and treated early.
Risk factors for actinic keratoses
UV rays from the sun and from tanning beds cause almost all actinic keratoses. Damage to the skin from UV rays builds up over time. This means that even brief exposure to sun on a regular basis can build up over a lifetime and increase the risk of actinic keratoses. Some people are more at risk than others, including:
People with pale skin, blonde or red hair, and blue, green, or gray eyes
People with darker skin, hair, and eyes who have been exposed to UV rays without protection
People with suppressed immune systems (due to chemotherapy, AIDS, organ transplant, or other causes)
People with rare conditions that make the skin very sensitive to UV rays, such as albinism or xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
Signs of an actinic keratosis
An actinic keratosis develops slowly. It most likely appears on areas of skin often exposed to the sun. These can include such the face, ears, bald scalp, neck, backs of hands and forearms, and lips. It tends to lie flat against the skin of the head and neck, but appears as a bump on arms and hands. The base of an actinic keratosis may be light or dark, tan, pink, red, or a combination of these. Or it may be the same color as the skin. The scale or crust may be horny, dry, and rough. In some cases, it may itch or have a prickly or sore feeling.
Often, a person will have more than one actinic keratosis lesion. Actinic keratoses that develop on the lip are called actinic cheilitis.
How actinic keratosis is diagnosed
Health care providers can often diagnose an actinic keratosis by looking at and feeling the area on your skin. But sometimes an actinic keratosis can be hard to tell apart from skin cancer. Your health care provider might remove the area of skin to have it examined under a microscope. This is known as a skin biopsy.
How actinic keratosis is treated
Treatment for an actinic keratosis may include:
Freezing the lesion (cryotherapy)
Medicine applied to the skin (topical chemotherapy)
Other treatments that remove or destroy the lesion
Most actinic keratoses can be treated and cured. In rare cases they may come back. It’s important to have regular skin exams after treatment. This will help check for new actinic keratoses, and skin cancer.According to our board certified Dermatologist we describes Actinic Keratoses as pink, relatively poorly demarcated, scaly patches and plaques on the sun-exposed skin.
When markedly hyperkeratotic, they can be tender when palpated.
Actinic keratoses can spontaneously regress and can, without treatment, occasionally evolve into invasive squamous carcinoma.
Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy is the treatment of choice for the isolated actinic keratosis.
Multiple AK's respond to topical 5% 5-fluorouracil cream bid for three weeks, followed by a resolution of the inflammatory reaction and retreatment. Retreatment is important, if recurrences are to be reduced.
10% Masoprocol cream bid for four weeks is an alternative to 5% 5-fluorouracil.
Imiquimod cream is shown to be effective
Photodynamic therapy is another possible treatment
As actinic keratoses are secondary to ultraviolet light damage, the use of broad spectrum sunscreens is recommended.
Solar Keratosis (Pre-Skin Cancer) Treatment in New York, NY headed by a Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Gary Rothfeld with a New York City office in Manhattan, New York providing expert skin care, dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology services. A Park Avenue practice with an international reputation in general, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology.
A board certified dermatologist in New York, NY specializing in dermatology and dermatologic surgery including state-of-the-art cosmetic surgical procedures, Dr. Gary Rothfeld having worked alongside several of the world's renown dermatologist,best dermatologist,best cosmetic surgeon, best plastic surgeon, and celebrity dermatologist has shaped a uniquely innovative approach in treating any skin problem you may have, is known for his attention to body symmetry and his dedication to meeting patients’ personal goals.
Dr. Rothfeld, recognized by the by the entertainment industry of America as one of the best dermatologists in Manhattan, has organized a comprehensive skin care center offering personalized state of the art services including medical,pediatric, and cosmetic dermatology.
New York Dermatology serves the following neighborhoods within New York (NY), which are in close proximity to our office:
Upper East Side Dermatology, Fifth Avenue Dermatology, Park Avenue Dermatology, Madison Avenue Dermatology, Upper West Side Dermatology, Midtown Dermatology, Lower East Side Dermatology,Chelsea Dermatology, Gramercy Park Dermatology, Murray Hill Dermatology, Greenwich Village Dermatology, East Village Dermatology, West Village Dermatology, Soho Dermatology, Tribeca Dermatology, Meat Packing District Dermatology, Sutton Place Dermatology, Wall Street Dermatology, Hells Kitchen Dermatology, and the boroughs of Brooklyn Dermatology , Bronx Dermatology, Queens Dermatology and Staten Island Dermatology.
Dr. Gary Rothfeld is recognized as one of the best Dermatologist in New York, NY, Manhattan, NYC, New York City and the nation by the entertainment industry in the United States of America. At New York Dermatology headed by board certified Dermatologist Dr. Rothfeld, sees patients 7 days a week including Saturday and Sunday.
We accept all credit cards as well as debit cards for payment of services.