About Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a dry, scaly bump on skin. They are caused by UV damage to the skin. This means that even short-term exposure to sun on a regular basis can build up over a lifetime and increase the risk.

Some lesions can turn into skin cancer. They are not life-threatening but if they are found and treated early, they do not have the chance to develop into skin cancer.

Some people are more at risk than others, including:

  • People with pale skin, blonde or red hair, and blue, green, or gray eyes
  • People with darker skin, hair, and eyes who have been exposed to UV rays without protection.
  • Older adults
  • Immunocompromised

Any time you are outdoors, sunscreen should be worn as protection. Additionally, these precautions should also be kept in mind:

  • Seeking shady places
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun-protective clothing

Treatment Options

  • Cryosurgery
  • Surgical Removal
  • Laser Removal
Questions & Answers

Do you have a question about Actinic Keratosis? To get started, ask your family physician for a requisition form to book an appointment with Dr. Neel Malhotra and we look forward to seeing you at our clinic.

Are Actinic keratosis cancerous?

No! Actinic keratosis is not a cancer, but it can be pre-cancerous. If left untreated, it can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. We recommend a yearly skin check by one of our medical experts.

What vitamin treats actinic keratosis?

There is strong evidence and studies saying that Vitamin B3, Niacin, significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancers and pre-cancerous lesions like actinic keratosis.

Will they come back after removal?

They reoccur in rare cases but usually once they are removed, they don’t come back again. Also, to avoid the recurrence, following things can be done:

  • Apply broad spectrum sunscreen everyday and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Avoid sun exposure in peak hours.
  • Avoid tanning beds, sun lamps and tanning creams.
  • Use chemical exfoliators monthly.
What aggravates actinic keratosis?

The most common cause of actinic keratosis is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light comes from the sun or indoor tanning equipment, such as tanning beds. UV light can damage your outer layer of skin cells, called keratinocytes.