actinic keratosis 

Actinic keratosis is a crusty or scaly place arising on the skin. Spots could appear tan, pink, red, or all of these.  Bumps could be dark or light or the same color as your skin. 

Skin lesions grow slowly over time to reach a size that is usually from a quarter to a half of an inch. Lesions often appear on the face, ears, scalp, neck, backs of hands and forearms, and lips. 

If untreated, actinic keratosis lesions can grow large and invade surrounding tissue cells and, on rare occasions, metastasize or spread into more serious forms of skin cancer. 

Exposure to sun causes almost all actinic keratosis. Even short exposures adds to vulnerability. Avoid sun especially between 11am to 4pm. And always use UV rated sun protection. 

actinic keratosisTypical treatment: Actinic keratosis lesions are "frozen" by spray, then scalpeled off. Cost: between $250 and $500. Lesions may reappear later, requiring additional treatment. 

Other treatments for actinic keratosis include application of fluorouracil creams which can possibly cause burning and scarring. 

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for the condition. The damage was done years ago when we got sunburned or over exposed to the sun in earlier years. I have spoken with many persons who have had efudex and/or scalpeling of lesions and their spots returned 6 months to a year later.

Exposure to sun seems to increase actinic keratosis. Learn more about what you can do to stay safe

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