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Actinic Keratoses

Actinic Keratoses Treatments in Sarasota "AKs form on skin that soaks up lots of sun over the years. An actinic keratosis, or AK, is a rough, dry, scaly patch or growth that forms on the skin."

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. They are common lesions of the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin), and are caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. AKs are most likely to appear after age 40. However, in geographic areas with year-round, high-intensity sunlight such as Florida, AKs may be found on teens and younger adults. Half of all older, fair-skinned persons who live in hot, sunny areas have AKs.

The most significant predisposing factor to AKs is fair skin and long-term sun exposure without protection. Chronic sun exposure causes skin cells to change size, shape, and the way they are organized. The skin cells affected in AKs are the keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are the tough-walled cells that make up 90 percent of the epidermis and give the skin its texture.


Changes in keratinocytes can be seen when the skin becomes rough, scaly, or mottled and develops bumps or small horn-like growths. Further changes in cell growth can turn AKs into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

If you have experienced long-term exposure to sunlight at some period in your life or have moles or other lesions that appear to be changing in size, texture, or color, it is important that you see a dermatologist for a complete skin cancer screening. At Abrams Dermatology we specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of skin cancers. Most skin cancers are treatable if detected early enough. Call today or request an appointment online.

American Academy of Dermatology: Actinic Keratoses

Treatment Options

Photodynamic Therapy


Abrams Dermatology
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