Actinic Keratosis (Precancerous Skin Growths)

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough, scaly patches that develop on sun-exposed areas of the skin. They are considered precancerous, meaning they have the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, if left untreated.

Causes: Chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the primary cause. People with fair skin, a history of sunburn, and those who spend significant time outdoors are at higher risk.

Treatments: Early detection and treatment are crucial. Treatment options for AKs include topical medications like imiquimod or fluorouracil, cryotherapy (freezing), or surgical removal with curettage or shave biopsy. Consulting a dermatologist for diagnosis and the most suitable treatment approach is essential.

Disclaimer: While treatments are highly effective in removing AKs, they do not prevent new ones from forming. Consistent sun protection with SPF 30 or higher and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection is vital to prevent AKs and skin cancer.