Is melanoma the same as actinic keratosis?

No. An actinic keratosis is a premalignant lesion that may progress to develop into a squamous cell carcinoma. A melanoma is a malignant tumor involving the pigment cells (melanocytes) of the skin.
NO. Actinic keratosis (ak) and melanoma are both skin diseases chiefly a result of sun exposure, but they arise from different skin cell types. Ak is a premalignant condition of the keratinocyte skin cells (non-pigmented meaning not producing pigments/color). If left untreated, ak can progress to squamous cell skin cancer. Melanoma arises from melanocyte skin cells (pigment/color producing cells).
No. Although ak's are precancerous, they progress to squamous cell cancers. If you have one or more ak's it doesn't mean you have or will get cancer but it does mean you should keep an eye out for akin lesions and see your doctor/derm regularly.. Best wishes.

Related Questions

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...
Texture. Actinic keratoses, which are pre-malignant skin lesions caused by exposure to ultraviolet light (sun or tanning bed) , have a characteristic "scratchy, " sharp texture which is hard to confuse with anything else. Most "skin doctors" can identify these by how they look and feel. They are so common in sunny parts of the world that most doctors are familiar with them. No special test is needed. Read more...

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...

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...

Can actinic keratosis be scraped clearly off by fingers?

Many of them can. Same with seborrheic keratoses / basal cell papillomas. However, you'll never get the base where the mutated cells are. Treat them with excision or topical meds that kill the mutated cells. Read more...

What is the best way to remove actinic keratosis (sun spots)?

Many ways. I often use liquid nitrogen spray in my office practice. However, depending on the number and size and thickness of the ak's , topical treatments with immunologic agents such as zyclara or Picato (ingenol mebutate) can be used. In the past we also used topical Fluorouracil with success. Read more...
Actinic keratoses . Actinic keratoses are typically removed by prescription creams or treated with cryosurgery . See a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment options. Read more...

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

Yes and Yes. Yes, actinic keratosis is a real problem. It is a premalignant condition caused by sun exposure. If left untreated, actinic keratosis can progress to squamous cell cancer of the skin. Threatments include freezing by liquid nitrogen; 5-FU chemo cream; immune modifier Aldara (imiquimod) cream... Read more...
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...