Actinic keratoses (AKs) are precancerous abnormalities that dermatologists often find on the skin of patients who have had many years of unprotected sun exposure. It’s possible for AKs to go away and then return within a few days or weeks. Anyone could develop an actinic keratosis, and most people get more than one of them. You could be at a higher risk if you’re age 40 or older, have used tanning beds, or habitually go outdoors without protection from the sun.
Other risk factors for AKs include having fair skin, having a weakened immune system, and having skin that easily burns or freckles. Some medical conditions can make the skin more sensitive to damage from UV rays, and this also raises the risk of AKs. Without treatment, AKs can turn into squamous cell carcinoma. A dermatologist will look for signs of actinic keratosis during an annual skin cancer screening.
Arlington Dermatology provides comprehensive skin cancer screenings and treatment for actinic keratosis in our Arlington Heights office. Call 847-392-5440.