Actinic Keratosis Treatment in South Florida

What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis, also called solar or senile keratosis, is a precancerous skin condition that develops in sun-exposed skin, especially on the face, hands, forearms, and the neck. It is seen most often in pale-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyed people, beginning at age 30 or 40 and becoming more common with age.

What are the symptoms?

Actinic keratoses are small and noticeable red, brown, or skin-colored patches that don’t go away. They commonly occur on the head, neck, or hands but can be found on other areas of the body. Usually more than one is present. They may have a rough texture, itch, burn, or sting and they range in size from 1 to 3 mm or larger (about the size of a small pea). They might also be numerous, with several patches close together and be surrounded by red, irritated skin.

How is it treated?

Early treatment of actinic keratosis is recommended to stop the possible progression to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment may include:

  • Freezing the skin growth with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) to destroy it
  • Scraping and using electric current (curettage and electrosurgery)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU), a medication that you put directly on the keratoses
  • Imiquimod cream (Aldara), a medication that has recently been approved for treating actinic keratosis
  • Photodynamic therapy, the use of a photosensitizer topically and a blue light has been recently approved for the treatment of actinic keratosis and some types of superficial skin cancer, it is also used in the treatment of photorejuvenation

Will actinic keratosis progress to cancer?

If you have actinic keratosis, you may have an increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. There is no way to determine whether actinic keratosis will progress to squamous cell carcinoma or how fast this might occur. Keratoses on the ear and lip are at the highest risk of developing into cancer because of the sensitivity of the ear and lip to sun exposure.

How can I prevent actinic keratosis?

You can help prevent actinic keratosis by staying out of the sun and using sunscreen when you are in the sun. You should also examine your skin for the condition and other suspicious growths once a month, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun.

If you believe you may have actinic keratosis or if you are looking for a dermatology practice that specializes in actinic keratosis treatment, please use the form on this page to schedule a consultation at Hollywood Dermatology or visit our contact page for information about our South Florida locations.

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3850 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 403
Hollywood, FL 33021
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12600 Pembroke Rd, Suite 310
Miramar, FL 33027
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Pembroke Pines

TEL: 954.433.0455
601 N. Flamingo Rd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
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1250 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd, Suite 800
Hallandale, FL 33009
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West Miramar

TEL: 954.843.9443
3000 SW 148th Ave, Suite 250
Miramar, FL 33027
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Coconut Grove

TEL: 305.856.7887
3661 S. Miami Ave, Suite 1005
Miami, FL 33133
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3470 NW 82nd Ave, Suite 111
Doral, FL 33122
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