Actinic keratoses are superficial skin changes that result from the skin being exposed to a lot of sun throughout life. Therefore, actinic keratoses are most common in older people. Most often, the skin changes are harmless.
Although most actinic keratoses are harmless, they can sometimes develop into a form of skin cancer called squamous cell cancer. In order to reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratoses are usually treated.
Symptoms of actinic keratoses
Actinic keratoses usually appear as small red spots on the skin. The spots can be anywhere from a few millimeters to a few centimeters in size. Sometimes the stains can peel, feel sore or burning.
Actinic keratoses are most common in areas that are exposed to a lot of suns, such as the face, top of the hands and the head of thin-haired people.
What can I do for myself?
It is important that you protect your skin when you stay in the sun so that actinic keratoses do not occur or you will not get more. The best thing is to wear a sun hat and clothes. You should lubricate the face and hands with sunscreen.
When and where should I seek care?
Contact a health care center or skin clinic if you have a skin change that has grown or changed in any other way. You can contact many receptions by logging in.
Treatment for actinic keratoses
Actinic keratoses can be treated in several different ways. Which treatment works best depends on how many spots you have and where they are located.
A single stain can freeze a doctor.
If you have many stains there are different treatments. For example, you can get treatment with a cream that you lubricate yourself at home. The length of time you will be lubricating depends on what cream you have received, it can be anything from three days up to four weeks.
Sometimes it is best to use a treatment called photodynamic therapy, PDT. Then the spots are first smeared with a cream, which makes the altered cells more sensitive to infrared light. After a few hours, the area is illuminated with infrared light. It can hurt in connection with the lighting, but how bad it does can be experienced differently. The cells are destroyed when illuminated and a wound is formed after a few days. Then the skin heals by replacing the wound with healthy cells. The visit to the skin reception takes about three hours, but you can do something else during the waiting period for the cream to work.
Sometimes only one treatment is done, but if the actinic keratoses are many or thick, the treatment is repeated again after a few weeks.