Actinic keratosis

Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar)

Actinic keratosis is a small, rough, raised area on your skin. Often this area has been exposed to the sun for a long period of time.

Some actinic keratoses may develop into a type of skin cancer.

Actinic keratosis on the arm

For people with actinic keratosis, cumulative skin damage is caused by repeated exposure to all ultraviolet light, including that found in sunshine. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and produces lesions. The lesions, like those seen here on the arm, may later become cancerous.

Actinic keratosis - close-up

Actinic keratosis is associated with cumulative skin damage, caused by repeated exposure to the ultraviolet light found in sunshine. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and produces lesions similar to the ones in this photograph. The lesions may later become cancerous (pre-cancerous).

Actinic keratosis on the forearms

Cumulative skin damage is caused by repeated exposure to the ultraviolet light found in sunshine. Areas with high exposure such as the forearms, face, back of the neck, and scalp (bald individuals) are common sites. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and may produce lesions like these on the forearms. The lesions, called actinic keratosis, may later become cancerous.

Actinic keratosis on the scalp

Cumulative skin damage is caused by repeated exposure to the ultraviolet light found in sunshine. Areas with high exposure such as the scalp (bald individuals), forearms, face, and back of the neck are common sites. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and produces lesions like these on the scalp. The lesions, called actinic keratosis, may later become cancerous.

Actinic keratosis - ear

These pre-malignant lesions (brown) are actinic keratoses. They are scaly and rough, and there is evidence of bleeding. They are shown here on a typical, sun-exposed area of skin.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention