An actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch on skin that develops from years of exposure to the sun. It’s most commonly found on the face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck.
Also known as solar keratosis, an actinic keratosis enlarges slowly and usually causes no signs or symptoms other than a patch or small spot on your skin. These lesions take years to develop, usually first appearing in older adults.
Although anyone can develop actinic keratosis, you may be more likely to develop the condition if you:
A small percentage of actinic keratosis lesions can eventually become skin cancer. You can reduce your risk of actinic keratosis by minimizing your sun exposure and protecting your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The most effective popular treatment is Freezing (cryotherapy) where an extremely cold substance, such as liquid nitrogen, is applied to skin lesions directly. The substance freezes the skin surface, causing blistering or peeling. As your skin heals, the lesions slough off, allowing new skin to appear. Cryotherapy is the most common treatment; it takes only a few minutes and can be performed in our doctor’s office.