They’re ugly and sometimes dangerous…
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are small, red, rough, scaly, flat spots that feel like dry skin patches…almost like sand paper. They occur on sun-exposed areas, such as the nose, ears, face, chest, forearms, and back of the hands. At Total Dermatology, we strive to deliver the best treatments for actinic keratosis Irvine has to offer. Common terms include AK, AKs, solar keratosis or precancers.
Actinic Keratosis is a result of disruption of skin cell function. Where normal skin cells turn over on a systematic basis, the cells of an AK lesion develop in a haphazard fashion. This is primarily the result of UV exposure from the sun over the years. DNA alterations cause these cells to clump, enlarge and project from the normally smooth epidermal tissue. Although not a cause for alarm, they should be checked to rule out the possibility of early skin cancer. Most Irvine actinic keratosis treatment patients choose to treat AKs as a preventive measure and also to restore smooth skin. AKs tend to grow larger over time and become more difficult to remove if left unattended.
Anywhere from 5%-10% of AKs can potentially go on to become skin cancers. It is not possible to tell which ones will do this. Some AKs will never develop into anything else. Some AKs go away without treatment.
No. While AKs may give rise to skin cancers like squamous cell carcinomas, they do not turn into melanomas. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that people with AKs may be more prone to melanomas simply by having more sun damage.
We love our patients at Total Dermatology! Read what our satisfied patients have to say about their experiences with Dr. Pilest and our team.
“The staff is amazing and sweet. Professional, kind, prompt, and the best service. I will only get my Juvederm and lip injections here!”
— Priscilla S.
“Dr. Pilest is the best injector in Orange County. Obviously, no one likes needles, but he makes getting a little botox painless. I make the drive all the way from L.A. just to see him and his amazing staff.”
— Kay S.
“I have been coming here for about 5-6 months and the service is amazing. All staff members are very welcoming. They have helped with my skin so much. I totally recommend them.”
— Victoria L.
*Individual Results May Vary
Helpful measures include sun protection with hats, clothing, sunscreen, and sun avoidance, particularly during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional long-term maintenance options include nightly applications of retinoid creams, such as tretinoin (Retin-A) or tazarotene (Tazorac). Some studies also have shown a benefit from using green tea creams to decrease the number of AKs.
Any non-healing or recurring AK in the same spot may need a small skin biopsy to make sure it has not turned into skin cancer. Sometimes, we will treat the AKs and recheck them in three to four weeks. Any non-healing spots may then be suspect for possible cancer.
*Individual Results May Vary
When it comes to your skin and your health, it really is all about what’s best for you. Total Dermatology understands this, which is why we offer versatile treatments with experienced and highly trained aesthetic professionals led by Dr. Nissan Pilest. Your Total Dermatology transformation awaits.