Actinic Keratosis Videos
Actinic keratosis (AK), is the most common pre-cancer that forms on the skin caused by long term exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and/or indoor tanning. Actinic keratosis is most common in adults over the age of 40, however they can occur in younger people, especially those with fair skin and light eyes and those who spend a lot of time in the sun.
AK often appears as small dry, scaly or crusty sometimes raised patches of skin and they may be red, light or dark tan, white, pink, flesh-toned or a combination of these colors. The lesions are typically found on sun-exposed areas of the face, lips, ears, scalp, shoulders, neck and the back of the hands or forearms. Actinic keratoses on the lip are called actinic cheilitis.
Only a small amount (5-10 percent) of actininc keratoses turn into skin cancer, but the vast majority of squamous cell carcinomas start off as AK. That’s why it’s important to see your dermatologist if you think you may have an AK. If detected early, actinic keratoses are easily treated before they develop into skin cancer.
- Cunningham, T. J., Tabacchi, M., Eliane, J.-P., Tuchayi, S. M., Manivasagam, S., Mirzaalian, H., Turkoz, A., Kopan, R., Schaffer, A., Saavedra, A. P., Wallendorf, M., Cornelius, L. A., & Demehri, S. (2017, January 3). Randomized trial of calcipotriol combined with 5-fluorouracil for skin cancer precursor immunotherapy. The Journal of clinical investigation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5199703/.
- Rosenberg AR;Tabacchi M;Ngo KH;Wallendorf M;Rosman IS;Cornelius LA;Demehri S; (n.d.). Skin cancer precursor immunotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma prevention. JCI insight. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30895944/.