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Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis services offered in Hamilton Square, Trenton, and Mercer County area, New Jersey

If you struggle with patchy, rough, or scaly skin due to actinic keratosis, help is within reach at Kessel Dermatology, servicing the Hamilton Square, Trenton, and Mercer County areas in New Jersey. The board-certified and licensed dermatology specialists provide treatments that eliminate bothersome symptoms to restore your skin’s health and overall appearance. Call the office to learn more or request an appointment online today. 

Actinic Keratosis Q & A

What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a skin condition that can cause scaly, dry, or rough skin patches after years of sun exposure. This skin condition often develops slowly and appears in people over 40. When left untreated, about 5-10% of cases of actinic keratosis develop into skin cancer. See the Kessel Dermatology specialists at the first sign of actinic keratosis or other skin conditions. 

What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?

The symptoms of actinic keratosis include:

  • Dry, rough, or scaly skin
  • Skin discoloration
  • Red, brown, or pink skin spots
  • Burning, itching, crusting, or bleeding
  • Skin with a wart-like surface
  • Flat or raised skin patches or bumps
  • New bumps or skin patches

These and other symptoms may appear on the sun-exposed skin on your hands, forearms, head, neck, face, lips, ears, scalp, or other areas.

When left untreated, actinic keratosis might progress to squamous cell carcinoma — a form of skin cancer.

What can cause actinic keratosis?

The causes and risk factors associated with actinic keratosis include:

  • Frequent or intense unprotected sun exposure
  • Tanning bed use
  • Fair skin
  • Red or blond hair
  • Light-colored eyes
  • History of sunburns
  • Being over 40
  • Having freckles
  • Working outdoors
  • Living in a sunny climate
  • Having a weakened immune system

The best ways to reduce the risk of actinic keratosis is to limit sun exposure, protect your skin from the sun when you’re outdoors, and avoid tanning beds. Examine your skin regularly to check for new or unusual changes in its texture, color, and appearance. 

How is actinic keratosis diagnosed?

Your Kessler Dermatology provider diagnoses actinic keratosis after examining your skin, asking about your medical history and symptoms, and ordering a skin biopsy or other diagnostic tests to screen for skin cancer. Then, they customize a treatment plan and let you know what to expect. 

How is actinic keratosis treated?

Treatment for actinic keratosis depends on whether you’ve developed skin cancer, its severity, your treatment preferences, and the desired results. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, your specialist may recommend medications or procedures to remove actinic keratosis.

They might suggest freezing or scraping the affected tissues, laser treatment, or phototherapy by exposing your skin to a special light that destroys actinic keratosis.

After treatment, you can expect healthier skin and a reduced risk of skin cancer. Continue to protect your skin from the sun, examine your skin regularly, and see your dermatology specialist for routine skin checks. 

To get screened or treated for actinic keratosis, call the Kessler Dermatology office or use the online booking feature today.