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Actinic Keratosis - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


An actinic keratosis is a scaly or crusty bump that forms on the skin surface. It can also be defined as a skin condition characterized by rough, scaly patches on the skin of your face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp and neck.They may be light or dark, tan, pink, red, a combination of these, or the same color as ones skin. their size can vary. the size can be as small as a pinhead to as big as an inch across. When skin is exposed to the sun constantly, thick, scaly, or crusty bumps appear. The scaly or crusty part of the bump is dry and rough. The growths start out as flat scaly areas, and later grow into a tough, wart-like area. actinic keratosis may appear on any sun-exposed area, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, chest, back of hands, forearms, lips etc. Many doctors consider actinic keratosis to be pre cancerous because it can develop into skin cancer. so it is very important to take a lot of care and prevention for this problem.

Actinic Keratosis Causes

  1. Exposure To Carcinogenic Factors: actinic keratosis can be caused by ultraviolet light. most of this comes from sunlight. the chances of actinic keratosis is more in fair skinned individuals as compared to others. it is associated with with an accumulated lifetime exposure to sun.
  2. The other factor to cause this problem is to get ionize radiations such as radiotherapy.
  3. Generic Syndromes: A lot of chances are there to have this problem by generic syndromes that increase the risk of skin cancer which includes xeroderma pigmentosa results from a defect in DNA repair.

Actinic Keratosis Symptoms

  1. Actinic keratosis usually develops on the face, lips, ears, scalp, neck, forearms, and back of the hands because these are the areas most commonly exposed to the sun.
  2. The skin color is usually gray, pink, red or sometimes the color may be as of skin.
  3. Skin texture becomes hard and wart. This is wart like or may even be like gritty, rough and sandpapery. It sometimes grow horn like texture from overgrowth of skin keratin layer.
  4. Surface is initially flat and scaly, then becomes slightly raised.
  5. Lesions on your skin ranging in color from pink to red to brown, or flesh-colored.


  1. Cryotherapy: In this therapy an intense cold substance like liquid nitrogen is applied to skin lesions. this process freezes the skin surface. hence the peeling happens. As As your skin heals, the lesions slough off, allowing new skin to appear. this is a simple and short process and can be done in health center office.
  2. 5 Flurouracil: It is a substance which reacts against the sun damaged skin but does not affect normal skin. But some causes should be taken. women in pregnancy should not use it and also avoid breastfeeding when use of the substance is done.
  3. Aldara: It stimulates both the innate immune response through interferon production as well as acquired immunity by activating T helper 1 cells.The drug’s effectiveness is in its activation of the anti-tumor factors that can be recalled by immune memory.
  4. Chemical peeling: In this process the chemical trichloroacetic acid (TCA) singly or mixed with other chemicals is applied to the lesions. It peels the skin and new skin is allowed to form.
Morton's Neuroma
Mucocutaneous Candidiasis
Mycosis Fungoides
Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum
Paget's Disease
Pemphigus Vulgaris
Perioral Dermatitis
Periorbital Cellulitis
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Pityriasis Rosea
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Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
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Strawberry Hemangioma
Telogen Effluvium
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Tinea Corporis
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Tinea Versicolor
Urticaria Pigmentosa
Venous Angioma

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