Actinic Keratosis also is known as solar keratoses, are rough patches of skin caused by damage from years of sun exposure. AK is considered a pre-cancer because if left alone, it could develop into skin cancer. Most often, actinic keratoses develop slowly and reach a size from an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Early on, they may disappear only to reappear later. Occasionally they itch or produce a pricking or tender sensation. They can also become inflamed and surrounded by redness. In rare instances, AKs can even bleed.
Actinic Keratosis (AK) is primarily caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. You have a higher risk of developing this condition if you:
Are over age 60
Have light-colored skin and blue eyes
Have a tendency to sunburn easily
Have a history of sunburns earlier in life
Have been frequently exposed to the sun over your lifetime
Have the human papillomavirus (HPV)
Cryotherapy: Using the power of Nitrogen to freeze off the AK. This is generally used when the AK is in its initial phase, where it's small and easily accessible.
Radio Frequency Cautery: This is an advanced way of physical removal of AK using modern surgical methods that cut without scarring or bleeding.
ALA/PDT: Aminolevulinic acid is a light-activated effective substance. Which is applied to the affected area and absorbed by the overactive (Pre-cancer) cells? Once under a blue light source, the substance is activated effectively killing the target cells while keeping surrounding cells intact. This leaves the skin without any scarring. It may require a second session after several months.