Read below to find out more information about pre-cancerous skin lesions called actinic keratoses (AK), including symptoms and treatments. To make an appointment to diagnose and treat your possible AK, call (503) 223-3104.
Info: 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: The basic types of treatment for actinic keratoses are cryosurgery, surgical removal and biopsy, topical chemotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.
To read more about actinic keratosis (AK), visit our From Your Doctor portal.