Actinic Keratosis (AK) is skin damage caused by UV rays. People with a history of inadequate sun protection or indoor tanning are at risk. Most affected people have multiple AKs, which are called actinic keratoses.
Dr. Andrew advises his Tarmac patients to maintain regular check-up appointments if they have a large number of AKs. These lesions are considered to be pre-cancerous, and people who are prone to them will likely continue developing new ones for the rest of their life.
Without treatment, most AKs evolve into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. If you have been diagnosed with AKs, you have a 10 percent chance of developing skin cancer in your lifetime according to clinical research. Dr. Andrew can remove the lesions before they become cancerous. If cancer does develop, it can be detected early, when it is still curable.
Signs and symptoms
If you think that you may have AKs, you should see Dr. Andrew right away. Most people do not experience significant symptoms. However, there may be some noticeable changes in skin including:
- An area of skin that does not look any different, but feels rough to the touch.
- A skin growth or rough area that hurts when it is rubbed.
- An area that itches or burns.
- Lips continually feeling dry
There and gone
AK skin lesions are inconsistent. They may be visible for a period of time, and then seem to flake off and disappear. However, that does not mean the problem is gone. In many cases, the lesion will return within a few days or weeks, usually triggered by sun exposure.
Even if an AK disappears and stays gone, you should visit our office for frequent checkups. It may return, and there is a chance of cancer developing. Call (561) 708-5004
to schedule an appointment.