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Doctor insights on: Generally Actinic Keratosis

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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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Dr. Mike Bowman
906 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common 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 & ...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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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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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?

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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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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Do all cases of actinic keratosis turn into scc?

Do all cases of actinic keratosis turn into scc?

No: In fact, relatively few of them do so. However, if you have been diagnosed with an ak, it is best to make sure you follow the recommended schedule of appointments with the doctor following your skin health. If you notice ulceration, bleeding, itching, or sudden spreading of an ak, get it checked out asap. ...Read more

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Does all cases of actinic keratosis need freezing?

Freeze, 5FU, Aldara (imiquimod): Actinic keratosis (ak) is a premalignant condition caused chiefly by sun exposure. If left untreated, ak can progress to squamous cell cancer of the skin. Treatments of ak include freezing using liquid nitrogen; 5-fu chemo cream; immune modifier cream aldara (imiquimod)... ...Read more

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How can I reduce the appearance and the feel of 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. There are available treatments through a dermatologist that are effective (some topical, some freezing technique). ...Read more

Dr. Emily Altman
37 doctors shared insights

Solar Keratosis (Definition)

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


Dr. Scott Keith
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The growth of ...Read more