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Doctor insights on: Actinic Keratosis

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Dr. Mike Bowman
951 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more


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What are symptoms of actinic keratosis?

What are symptoms of actinic keratosis?

Actinic Keraotsis: Actinic keratoses arise in chronically sun exposed sites, such as the backs of the hands, forearms and face. They usually present as rough scaly or crusty slightly red bumps on the skin. Sometimes, these lesions can be felt more than they can be seen. A rough patch on a sun exposed area may all that you notice. ...Read more

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Living with Skin Cancer (Checklist)

Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm
daily
Apply sunscreen
2x day
Wear a hat outdoors on sunny days
daily
See dermatologist for check ups
2x year
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How is actinic keratosis usually diagnosed?

How is actinic keratosis usually diagnosed?

Clinical exam: Actinic keratoses are early precancerous lesions caused primarily by sun exposure over time. They are usually diagnosed by your dermatologist on clinical exam. In some cases a more advanced lesion may be biopsied to make sure it has not progressed to skin cancer. ...Read more

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Treating Seborrheic Keratosis (Checklist)

Exercise
Daily
Maintain a healthy weight
Once
Control your cholesterol
Once
If you have diabetes, keep it under control
Once
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Is actinic keratosis a real problem? Can I treat it with aldara (imiquimod)?

Is actinic keratosis a real problem? Can I treat it with aldara (imiquimod)?

Possibly: Actinic keratosis (ak) is a sign that your skin has had excessive sun exposure. It may represent a "pre-cancerous" lesion as some will become skin cancers eventually. If you have ak's then you should have a thorough check up by a dermatologist to be sure you don't already have skin cancer and you can get advice on how best to treat your ak's. ...Read more

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What are some over-the-counter treatments for actinic keratosis?

None: Unfortunately there is no studied over the counter treatment for actinic keratosis (ak). Since ak is a form of precancer, it is important to have it treated before it progresses. ...Read more

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Treating a Skin Abscess (Checklist)

Clean the wound thoroughly
Once
If the wound is draining on its own, regularly change a dressing
Once
If it is not draining, or there is redness around it, see your doctor
Once
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Is it possible to get actinic keratosis on an area of skin that has had little sun damage?

Is it possible to get actinic keratosis on an area of skin that has had little  sun damage?

Yes: It is common on face, scalp and arms, but can oocur on the legs, back or. Chest. Sun is major factor but light skin color and weakened local immune system are also factors. These are treatable with cream, cryosurgery, electrosurgery. ...Read more

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Who is at generally risk for actinic keratosis?

Who is at generally risk for actinic keratosis?

H/o sunburns: Actinic keratoses are precancerous lesions caused by excessive sun exposure. The more sunburns you've had, the more risk of developing ak's. ...Read more

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What % of actinic keratosis are pre-cancerous? How long would it take one to turn into cancer?

What % of actinic keratosis are pre-cancerous? How long would it take one to turn into cancer?

All and variable: Actinic keratosis by definition is precancerous, however not all lesions turn into cancer and there is variable rate of progression. Treatment of the lesion can prevent progression and development of cancer. Please note that some people consider actinic keratosis to be a form of cancer. ...Read more

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What is actinic keratosis?

What is actinic keratosis?

Pre-cancer: Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous skin lesion. It's a scaly area that feels sharp, like sandpaper or a glass shard, when you rub your finger over it. If untreated, it can become a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. It is usually from sun damage. To treat it, liquid nitrogen or a cream called effudex is applied. Avoid sun exposure to avoid this! ...Read more

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Treating Dry Skin (Checklist)

Use moisturizers regularly
Once
Use mild soap when washing the skin
Once
Limit overexposure to detergents or soaps
Once
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What are symptoms of actinic keratosis?

Actinic Keraotsis: Actinic keratoses arise in chronically sun exposed sites, such as the backs of the hands, forearms and face. They usually present as rough scaly or crusty slightly red bumps on the skin. Sometimes, these lesions can be felt more than they can be seen. A rough patch on a sun exposed area may all that you notice. ...Read more

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How can I make actinic keratosis go away?

Dermatologist appt: Unfortunately there is no studied over the counter treatment for actinic keratosis (ak). Since ak is a form of precancer, it is important to have it treated before it progresses. There are available treatments through a dermatologist that are effective (some topical, some freezing technique). ...Read more

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How is actinic keratosis usually diagnosed?

Clinical exam: Actinic keratoses are early precancerous lesions caused primarily by sun exposure over time. They are usually diagnosed by your dermatologist on clinical exam. In some cases a more advanced lesion may be biopsied to make sure it has not progressed to skin cancer. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
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What does actinic keratosis usually look like?

Scaly red papules: Actinic keratosis is a premalignant lesion that over time can evolve into squamous or basal cell carcinomas. They are usually small persistent crusty or scaly pink-red bumps. These are typically treated with liquid nitrogen destruction or topical creams such as Efudex or aldara (imiquimod). ...Read more

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Dr. Emily Altman
41 doctors shared insights

Solar Keratosis (Definition)

Thickened and perhaps slightly pigmented skin with ultraviolet damage in high sun exposure skin. Usually ...Read more


Dr. Barbara Lavi
232 doctors shared insights

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The growth of ...Read more