Actinic keratoses (AKs) are dry, typically scaly patches that form on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, primarily the scalp, face, forearms, and back of the hands. Actinic keratoses are rough-surfaced, scaly, and range in color from skin-toned to reddish-brown. They vary in size and can grow if left untreated. People often have multiple AKs which can appear in groups and may itch or become tender, especially after sun exposure.
Actinic Keratosis and Skin Cancer
Actinic keratoses are precancerous and have the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer. Performing frequent self-examinations of the skin and seeing a dermatologist for regular screenings can help detect AKs and skin cancer.
Risk Factors for Developing Actinic Keratosis
AKs are most common in people with light-colored skin and hair (blond or red hair), freckles and years of excessive sun exposure. The condition typically occurs in men and women over 40 years old. However, younger people and those with darker skin can still develop AKs if they receive frequent sun exposure.
Treatment for Actinic Keratosis
There are many treatment options for Actinic Keratosis. Schedule an appointment with our medical staff if you suspect you have AKs. The physicians of Dermatology Associates Medical Group have many years of experience diagnosing and treating Actinic Keratosis and skin cancer.