Skin that has suffered damage from ultraviolet rays is more prone to a precancerous condition called an actinic keratosis (AK). If your dermatologist has informed you that you have an AK, then keep reading for tips on managing this condition.
Keep Your Skin Protected
Shielding your skin from UV rays can make your actinic keratosis treatment more effective, as well as help prevent the formation of additional AKs. To do this, stay out of the midday sun by scheduling any outdoor activities before 10 am and after 2 pm. Also, do not use tanning beds, be liberal when it comes to sunscreen application, and choose clothing that minimizes light penetration. Whatever the weather or season, you should apply sunscreen to any area of your skin that isn’t protected by clothing.
Choose the Right Sunscreen
It’s important to use a high-quality sunscreen when it comes to protecting your skin and managing an actinic keratosis. The product should be water resistant, have an SPF of at least 30, and block both UVA and UVB rays. Thoroughly rub the sunscreen into your skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. You should reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours and more frequently when sweating excessively or swimming. Finally, wear a lip balm that has an SPF of at least 15.
Make All Your Appointments
One of the most important factors in managing your actinic keratosis is to keep each of the visits that you have scheduled with your dermatologist. If left untreated, this skin condition can progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Also, the UV damage that causes AKs to develop can also lead to other types of skin cancer. To manage your AK and promote the early detection of other potential problems, it’s important to see your dermatologist as scheduled.
At our patient-friendly facility, Arlington Dermatology offers actinic keratosis treatment in Arlington Heights. To schedule your dermatologist appointment, please call 847-392-5440.