Actinic Keratosis (AK) is caused by damage from sun exposure and typically involves scaly, crusty, raised lesions in areas that get the greatest sun exposure, such as the face, lips, backs of hands and a bare head. The lesions can turn red, or may be tan, pink or flesh-colored.
Without proper treatment, AK can develop into squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), or sometimes even basal cell carcinoma. (See Skin Cancer)
The good news is that early intervention can prevent AK from developing into skin cancer. There are a variety of treatments depending on the stage of the AK and the patient, but may include Cryosurgery, topical medications, Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT), Curettage and Electrodessication, chemical peels or laser surgery.
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