What Is Actinic Keratosis?
Often called “solar keratoses”, actinic keratoses are a form of precancerous skin lesions. They are rough patches of skin that gradually develop due to sun exposure.
What Are The Causes?
Sun exposure is the primary cause of this skin irregularity. Additionally, people with fair skin that accumulate sunburn easily develop actinic keratosis more frequently than those with darker skin tones. A genetic predisposition may also factor into their formation.
What Are The Common Areas That Are Affected?
Actinic keratoses are commonly seen on sun-exposed surfaces such as the face, ears, scalp, legs, back of the hands, or forearms.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
Actinic keratosis may manifest as a dry or rough– usually less than 1 inch– area of the skin. It may appear wrinkled, freckled, hard, or wart-like as well in some cases. The affected area may be red, brown or pink in color, and may feel itchy as well.
How Can I Prevent It?
Consistent use of a sunscreen, sun hats and protective clothing with long sleeves helps prevent the formation of actinic keratosis. Avoid tanning beds and limit sun exposure, as well. Regularly examine your skin to check for any rough or scaly patches.
When Should I Be Concerned?
If you suspect you have actinic keratosis and the affected area begins to bleed, turns lumpy or tender, contact us to schedule a visit with our skin specialists at Derm.ca Dermatology & Esthetics in Calgary.
Can It Be Treated?
Yes, it can. Some lesions may disappear spontaneously, but many lesions can persist. Once you meet with our team, we will discuss with you the treatment options we offer to help address your concern.
Actinic keratosis can develop at any sun-exposed skin area. New lesions can be prevented through proper precautions to limit sun exposure. However, if it occurs, a variety of treatment options are available to treat them safely and effectively. Contact our skin specialists at Derm.ca Dermatology & Esthetics in Calgary and book your appointment today!