Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis (AK) is a common precancerous growth on the skin caused by sun exposure. It appears as a dry, scaly patch or bump which is localized on the face, scalp, back of the hands, arms, chest or other sun-exposed areas. The color can appear as white, pink, red, or the same color as the skin. Sometimes the skin lesion may be easier to feel than to see. This lesion usually develops from chronic sun exposure and has the risk of developing into a particular type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.


There are several treatment options available to treat AKs, Often different therapeutic modalities are combined, depending on factors such as the number of lesions, size and location. Common treatments include cryosurgery (freezing) with liquid nitrogen, topical medications, photodynamic therapy (PDT), chemical peeling and laser treatments.

Sun protection with proper sunblocks and sun-protective clothing are important in the prevention of further damage, which can result in more AKs.