Find Reliable Treatment for Actinic Keratosis (AK) with Our Board-Certified Dermatologists
What is Actinic Keratosis?
If you have a troublesome patch of dry skin that just won’t go away no matter how often or how much you lather up with hydrating lotion, it might be an actinic keratosis. Learn more about this common precancerous skin condition by reading our actinic keratosis guide below. We cover what it is, how it’s diagnosed, and the treatment options available today.
Also known as solar or senile keratosis, an actinic keratosis is a common growth caused by years of unprotected ultraviolet sun exposure and damage to the skin. Often referred to as “pre-cancers,” actinic keratoses most often show up as dry, rough, scaly patches of skin.
Actinic Keratosis FAQs
Learn more about actinic keratosis, such as how it is diagnosed, its symptoms, and treatment options, by reading our frequently asked questions guide below.
With actinic keratoses being the most commonly diagnosed precancerous skin condition and because it often has rather distinct features, an experienced physician or board-certified dermatologist can often diagnose it by simply examining the affected area.
However, because there are many skin conditions that can manifest as dry, scaly, rough, or red patches of skin, we recommend seeing a dermatology specialist for evaluation.
Yes, actinic keratoses have a small risk of turning into skin cancers. More specifically, they can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. This is why it’s important to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional diagnosis if you’re experiencing any symptoms of actinic keratoses.
The symptoms and signs of actinic keratoses are usually easy for dermatology providers to spot and, in most cases, even easier to feel. Actinic keratoses typically show up as rough, scaly spots or dry, crusty patches on the skin that can either be flat or raised. They are often described as feeling like “sandpaper.”
Additionally, the color of an actinic keratosis can range in color from pink, red, white, or tan shades, and its size can range from a small spot (pencil eraser sized) or a larger, quarter-sized patch.
There are several ways to treat AK. Your dermatologist will determine which method is best based on a few different factors: skin health and sun damage of the area with the actinic keratoses, the location, the number of actinic keratoses that are present, previous skin cancer history, and any other medical conditions you may have.
Once those considerations are factored in, your doctor or dermatologist will likely go with one of the following actinic keratosis treatments:
To learn more about these actinic keratosis treatments, read our article on taking a closer look at this common precancer.
Actinic Keratosis Photos
If you need some help identifying actinic keratosis, as well as seeing before and after treatment photos, take a look at our visuals below.
Find Actinic Keratosis Treatment in Westerville & Gahanna, Ohio
Have a rough, scaly patch of skin you believe might be actinic keratosis? Get in touch with our board-certified dermatologists today for a professional diagnosis and, if needed, an effective treatment plan. We’re passionate about treating and preventing skin cancer to ensure the health of your skin! Have a few questions or want to schedule an appointment? Call (614) 847-4100 or contact us online.