Actinic Keratosis

An ​actinic keratosis (​AK​)​ forms when the skin is badly damaged by UV ​rays​. This could happen from the sun or indoor tanning. Anyone with many AKs should be under a dermatologist’s care. People with many AKs continue to get new AKs for life. AKs are considered to be precancerous lesions. If left untreated they may turn into squamous cell carcinoma.

Actinic keratosis appear as small pink or red spots with a rough, scaly, or crusty surface. These are usually found on sun-exposed areas. Sometimes they are more easily felt than seen.

Actinic keratosis are usually treated with cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is treatment by freezing with liquid nitrogen.

People with a fair complexion, blond or red hair, and blue, green or grey eyes have a high likelihood of developing AKs if they spend time in the sun throughout their life. The incidence is slightly higher in men, because they tend to spend more time in the sun and use less sun protection than women do.

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