Actinic keratosis is a rough and often bumpy patch of lesion that forms on the skin. These light to dark coloured patches can be found on the scalp, back of hands, face, ears, back of forearms, the neck and shoulders and can sometimes be as big as a 20 cent piece. Developing actinic keratosis increases your risk of skin cancer and if left untreated may develop into squamose cell carcinoma, which is a form of skin cancer.
The causes of actinic keratosis
Also referred to as solar keratosis, the cause of these raised, crusty patches is an overexposure to or damage caused by UV light over years of regular sun exposure. Anyone can develop actinic keratosis, however, most people are in their 40’s or over and have a long history of sunburn, live in a sunny area, have light coloured skin and have a tendency to burn in the sun.
Treatment of actinic keratosis
Prevention is the best form of treatment of actinic keratosis. Lifestyle changes and an awareness of exposure to UV light as well as taking proper precautions when out in the sun are all ways to prevent these patches from arising.
If you have signs of actinic keratosis already, they may resolve naturally on their own, however, seeking medical advise from a doctor or dermatologist is advised due to the condition being precancerous.
Treatment options include medication, surgery and photodynamic therapy (drugs and light to kill cancer cells).
These patches are a marker of severe skin changes and damage to the skin, always ensure to protect your skin from the UV rays with a UVA and UVB protective moisturiser like our Daily Moisturiser Hydrating and always see your doctor or dermatologist for any raised, red, bumpy skin patches that might be a sign of actinic keratosis.