This small rough spot on the skin often occurs in areas chronically exposed to the sun, commonly the face, scalp and neck, forearms, upper chest and hands. Though actinic keratoses may take years to develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, the epidermis must be monitored for them with regular screenings, and if found, they must be promptly examined by a dermatologist. Fair-skinned people are most susceptible to AK, and require regular full-body skin cancer screenings. The best way to prevent the occurrence of these pre-cancerous lesions is through vigilant sun protection.
There are several ways the dermatologist can remove AK’s. Methods include cryosurgery, or freezing with liquid nitrogen; excision; dermatological surgery; laser/photodynamic surgery. Dr. Sarah Sawyer is board certified and experienced in all phases of detection, diagnosis and removal.