Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratosis, also called solar keratosis, is a
skin growth that develops in sun-exposed skin, especially on
the face, hands, forearms, and neck. It occurs most often in pale-skinned,
fair-haired, light-eyed people beginning at age 30 or 40.
keratoses are persistent, noticeable, small red, brown, or skin-colored patches
that may become scaly, scabbed, or crusted. The patches may itch, burn, or
Actinic keratosis may become skin cancer, but this isn't common. Actinic keratoses may be treated with cryotherapy (freezing), electrosurgery (burning),
curettage (scraping), photodynamic therapy (a treatment combining
light and medicine), or medicines that are put on the skin.
Current as of:
February 5, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.