Actinic Keratosis Treatment
Actinic keratosis, also known as AK, is a flaky spot or patch that, usually as a result of exposure to UV rays, occurs on your skin. There may be only one bump or several bumps may occur. Keratoses are referred to as several bumps.
The bumps may appear in various places throughout the body, including on the:
- Back of your neck
What does Actinic keratosis look like?
The size of keratosis can vary, but it is typically no larger than an inch. It takes several years for the skin patches to grow and usually first show themselves in people about 40 years of age.
What causes actinic keratosis?
Actinic keratosis is usually the result of many years of exposure to UV rays. Your skin can be exposed to UV rays through the sun or tanning beds. You may be more susceptible to developing actinic keratosis if you:
- Are over the age of 40
- Frequently expose your skin to the sun
- Have a history of sunburn or freckling after sun exposure
- Live in a region that has sunny weather
- Have light-colored hair or eyes
- Have a medical history of skin cancer or actinic keratosis
- Have a weakened immune system due to certain conditions or treatments
What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?
Actinic keratosis can be precancerous, meaning cancer can result from the disease. Knowing the signs of actinic keratosis will help you decide when to see a doctor for this cause. Actinic keratosis symptoms can vary from mild to extreme and may include:
- Rough, flaky spot or spots on your skin, usually no bigger than an inch
- Slightly protruding bump or bumps on your skin
- Firm, wart-like bump or bumps on the skin
- Itchiness or a burning sensation in the affected area of skin
Actinic keratosis may occur across the body in different places and the colour of the keratosis can vary. They can also appear to be tan, white, pink, or the same colour as your skin, whereas most keratosis turn red.