Actinic Keratosis


An actinic keratosis (AK) is a common skin growth that appears as a red, scaly growth on sun-damaged skin. It is considered to be precancerous, and if left untreated, may progress to a squamous cell carcinoma. The risk of evolution to a squamous cell carcinoma is approximately 10% in patients with greater than 10-15 AKs.


AKs are usually red and scaly. Sometimes they will appear to come and go. It may be easier to feel them than see them. Thick or hypertrophic AKs are often tender.


The most common treatment for AKs is cryotherapy (freezing). A topical chemotherapy may be used if there are too many AKs to freeze. Sun protection in the form of sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and long-sleeved shirts is the best method to prevent AKs.

If you have any questions about your condition, please call our office at 704-784-5901