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What is actinic / solar keratosis?

These are common skin growths that are caused by chronic sun exposure. They are considered pre cancerous, and if left untreated may eventually evolve into a cancerous lesion.

What do they look like?

Most actinic keratoses (AKs) are dry, scaly and rough in texture, some are the same color as the skin and can be easier felt than seen. These particular AKs often feel like sandpaper, can appear in groups and cover larger skin areas. Others show themselves as red bumps, red scaly patches or growths, or crusted growths. Size can vary from the size of a pinhead to larger than a 10 sen coin. Sometimes, they grow rapidly upward and you will see a growth that resembles a horn (known as a cutaneous horn). They often form on men’s ears.

How do we treat actinic / solar keratosis?

When treating actinic keratosis, dermatologists use one or several therapies, which include:
  • Cryosurgery

  • Photodynamic therapy

  • Chemical peeling

  • Laser skin resurfacing

  • Curettage

  • Chemotherapy for the skin

  • Immunotherapy for the skin

  • NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for the skin

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