Actinic keratoses are cutaneous neoplasms that are considered precursor lesions to squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratoses are flat, erythematous lesions with overlying scale. They are associated with sun exposure and fair skin types. Other risk factors for developing actinic keratoses are increasing age, male sex, and immunocompromised status. Actinic keratoses are treated with tissue destruction techniques such as cryosurgery, or curettage and electrodesiccation. Alternatively they can be treated with topical medications such as retinoids, imiquimod, and 5-fluorouracil. Treatment of existing actinic keratoses does not influence the appearance of new lesions. Due to their potential for malignant transformation, individuals with actinic keratoses should be encouraged to have regular skin cancer screenings, avoid sun exposure, and wear sunblock.
KeywordsActinic keratosis Solar keratosis Sun exposure UV exposure Precursor lesions Squamous cell carcinoma Keratinocyte Actinic cheilitis Photodamage Skin cancer Cryosurgery Chemical peel Cryotherapy Liquid nitrogen Curettage Electrodesiccation Retinoid Imiquimod 5-Fu 5-fluorouracil Adapalene Tretinoin Sunblock Sunscreen
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