Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are rough, scaly patches on the skin caused by excessive exposure to the sun. Long–term exposure to the sun is the single most significant cause of AKs, so the best defense against them is a comprehensive sun protection program that includes wearing protective clothing, avoiding midday sun, staying in the shade as much as possible, and wearing a broad–spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
AKs can sometimes progress into dangerous skin cancers. Doctors estimate that 40% of squamous cell carcinomas, the second leading cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States, begin as AKs. Sometimes a biopsy is necessary as it can be almost impossible for a doctor to distinguish an AK from a squamous cell carcinoma. The American Cancer Society, the Skin Cancer Foundation, and the American Academy of Dermatology all recommend that people with AKs seek treatment for them. By seeing a dermatologist for checkups, actinic keratosis can be treated before it becomes skin cancer.
What treatment options are available for Actinic Keratoses?
At Affiliated Dermatologists treatment options may include Cryotherapy, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), Chemical Peels, 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU),Picato Gel, Imiquimod, Retinoids or Laser Therapy