ABC Medical Center > Actinic keratoses

What is Actinic keratoses?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


This condition is considered a skin lesion that can be precancerous, which appears as a rough area that tends to peel off in certain areas of the skin that have been exposed to sunlight for years and that are the product of the cumulative effect of ultraviolet rays on the skin.

Actinic keratosis, which is also called solar keratosis, usually appears on the face, ears, arms, head, neck, and hands, generally affecting patients over 40 years old, since, as we said, it is due to cumulative exposure to sunlight over the years.

If not diagnosed and treated promptly, this condition can transform into squamous cell carcinoma.

Signs and symptoms Actinic keratoses

  • Skin areas with rough, dry-looking spots that tend to flake off.
  • Smooth texture bumps.
  • Skin growths that look like warts.
  • The shades range from beige to red.
  • Itch.
  • Burning.
  • Crusting and bleeding.
  • Appearance of new lesions.

If you have any symptoms, you should go to your dermatologist immediately to assess the type of injury and the risk of precancerous formations.

Potential risks:

  • Prolonged sun exposure for years.
  • Live in sunny areas.
  • Immune weakness.
  • White skin.
  • Being over 40 years old.

How can I prevent it?

  • Avoid exposing yourself to the sun for a long time.
  • Use sunscreen with a high protection factor on a daily basis, not only on the beach, but also in the city.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, a cap or hat.
  • Do not expose yourself to tans in tanning beds.

Diagnosis and treatment Actinic keratoses

Once your dermatologist analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination in which they will examine the skin lesions you present and will take a skin biopsy to examine it in the laboratory and determine if there is already skin cancer.

Since it is not possible to know with certainty which growths can become cancer, the treatment to follow is to remove the lesions by:

  • Surgery.
  • Cryotherapy.
  • Curettage.
  • Laser.
  • Photodynamic.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Roldán MR, Carlos OB. Campo de cancerización, queratosis actínica y carcinoma espinocelular: un modelo de progresión documentado mediante dermatoscopia y microscopía de reflectancia confocal. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2015;13(3):240-245.
  • Gutiérrez OP, González GJF. Terapia fotodinámica en queratosis actínicas múltiples y fotorejuvenecimiento. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2013;11(3):170-173.

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