An actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch on your skin that develops from years of exposure to the sun. It's most commonly found on your face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck. Also known as solar keratosis, an actinic keratosis enlarges slowly and usually causes no signs or symptoms other than a patch or small spot on your skin.
Over time, actinic keratoses may develop into invasive squamous cell carcinoma; according to one study of almost 7000 patients, among the small percentage of actinic keratoses that progress into squamous cell carcinoma, the length of time for this transformation to occur was approximately 2 years.Cells within actinic keratoses (AKs) show characteristic UV-induced gene mutations.Histologically AKs share features with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
The medical records selected concerned all patients who completed the MAL-PDT regimen (1 single session for AK and 2 sessions 1 week apart for non-melanoma skin cancers [NMSCs]) and who underwent post-treatment assessments over a follow-up period of at least 12 months. Present case series included a total of 462 patients: 210 patients with AK, 228 subjects with 348 BCCs, 213 of nodular type BCC (nBCC) and 135 of sBCC, 17 patients with BD and 7 with SCC.
An actinic keratosis sometimes resolves on its own, but typically returns again after additional sun exposure. Because it's impossible to tell exactly which patches or lesions will develop into skin cancer, actinic keratoses are usually removed as a precaution. Medications If you have several actinic keratoses, you may be better served by treating the entire affected area.