Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis services offered in Near John C. Lincoln hospital , Phoenix, AZ

If you develop scaly or rough skin patches, you may have actinic keratosis, a precancerous skin condition that can lead to cancer if not addressed. At Dermatology Associates, with two locations in Phoenix, Arizona, the board-certified dermatology team diagnoses and offers highly effective treatments for actinic keratosis to improve the appearance of skin and reduce your risk of complications. Schedule an evaluation by phone or online today.

Actinic Keratosis Q & A

What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a disorder that causes rough patches or scaly skin. If not treated, the condition can turn into squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratosis affects about 58 million Americans, as it’s the most common form of skin precancer. At the first sign of new or unusual skin changes, see your Dermatology Associates provider for an evaluation.

What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?

The hallmark symptoms of actinic keratosis include:

  • Raised, rough bumps on your skin
  • Yellow or brown crusty bumps
  • Gray, pink, red, or skin-colored bumps
  • Burning, itching, or stinging
  • Bleeding
  • Scaly, dry lips
  • Reduced color in your lips
  • Hornlike skin growths
  • Tenderness
  • Discomfort

Your symptoms may be mild or severe. The earlier you seek treatment for actinic keratosis, the better the outcome. 

What are the risk factors for actinic keratosis?

The factors that increase your risk of developing actinic keratosis include:

  • Unprotected sun exposure
  • Tanning bed use
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Fair skin
  • Red or blond hair
  • History of sunburns
  • Immunotherapy treatment
  • Weakened immune system

Protecting your skin from the sun using sunscreen or protective clothing is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of actinic keratosis. Avoid tanning beds and treat actinic keratosis early to eliminate complications. 

How does my specialist diagnose actinic keratosis?

To determine if you have actinic keratosis and which treatment is best, a dermatologist examines your skin, takes a skin biopsy if needed, and looks at skin cells under a microscope. They also review your medical history, discuss your treatment goals, and tailor a plan that’s best suited for you.

How is actinic keratosis treated?

Your personalized treatment plan to eliminate actinic keratosis may include:

  • Medical-grade chemical peels
  • Excision
  • Cryotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy 

If pre-cancerous spots develop into cancer, you might need additional treatments to eliminate cancerous tissues entirely. 

Your Dermatology Associates specialist follows up with you to ensure the treatment was effective. 

Continue to protect your skin from the sun and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Check your skin regularly, and see a dermatologist at the first sign of new or unusual skin changes. 

Schedule an appointment at Dermatology Associates by phone or online today to get screened or treated for actinic keratosis.