Actinic Keratosis

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. They are common lesions of the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin), and are caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. The most significant predisposing factor to AKs is fair skin and long-term sun exposure.

Signs & Symptoms: Actinic keratosis is the earliest stage in the development of a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The typical AK lesion is a dry, scaly, and rough skin-colored to reddish-brown “bump” on the skin. Sometimes the skin cells making up an AK lesion undergo abnormal growth and become a “cutaneous horn.”Prevention: You should begin early in life by protecting your skin against sun damage. However, it is never too late to initiate sun protection practices that can aid in prevention of new actinic keratosis lesions in adulthood.

Treatment options: The basic types of treatment for actinic keratoses are cryosurgery, surgical removal and biopsy, topical chemotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.

Left untreated, AKs may turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. People who have AKs also have a higher risk of getting other types of skin cancer. When found early, most skin cancers can be cured.  Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount.

To diagnose and treat, call us today! 610-789- SKIN(7546) to schedule a personalized consultation.

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