What Is Actinic Keratosis? Its Symptoms And Causes

An actinic keratosis refers to a scaly and rough patch on the area of your skin. This patch develops after some years of continuous exposure to the sun. Often, it appears on the area of your ears, face, scalp, lips, back of hands, and forearms.

It is also called solar keratosis. An actinic keratosis slowly grows and appears in people around 40 years. If you want to decrease the risk of your skin condition, make your sun exposure less. It protects the skin from harmful radiations that are ultraviolet radiations.

Do not leave this skin condition untreated because it can enhance the risk of actinic keratosis. This problem can turn into a skin cancer that is called squamous cell carcinoma. It may be difficult to treat when it becomes complicated.


The appearance of actinic keratosis can vary. It is associated with color variations, itching, crusting, bleeding, or burning sensation, and a rough, scaly, and dry patch of the skin. People with this condition can have raise in the patch.

After exposure to the sun, new bumps can develop around the area of your hands, forearms, head, and neck. It can be tough to differentiate between cancerous and noncancerous sots. It is necessary to have new alterations to your skin that your doctor evaluates.

This is a must if your patch is persistent. The evaluation of your doctor is also necessary if your patch starts growing.


Intense and frequent exposure to UV rays can lead to skin patches from the tanning beds. There may be many different causes associated with this skin condition.

Risk Factors

Anyone can experience actinic keratosis. You are also at risk of developing this skin problem if your age is 40 years above and you work outdoors. People with blond and red hair and light and blue-colored eyes are at risk of developing actinic keratosis.

If you have a history of sunburn and exposure to skin, you are at risk of having this skin issue. Furthermore, people who live in sunny places and have weak immune systems can suffer from this skin issue.


Early diagnosis and treatment of actinic keratosis can help you to clear up this condition. We recommend you to timely treat this skin issue. If you leave it untreated, you can have the risk of developing skin cancer. This cancer is not life-threatening if you are diagnosed and being treated early.


If you want to prevent the development and recurrence of actinic keratosis spots and patches, you have to protect yourself from the sun. Following are the steps that can help you to protect your skin from the sun.

  • Limit Your Sun Time: Avoid being in the sun between 10 AM to 2 PM. At this time, radiation from the sun can damage your skin. Try to not stay in the sun for a longer time to be protected from suntan or sunburn.
  • Sunscreen: Apply a sunscreen that is water-resistant and broad-spectrum before going to outdoor ven if it’s a cloudy day. Your sunscreen should have a skin protection factor. Apply this sunscreen on all the skin that is exposed. You can use lip balm on your lips with this sunscreen.
  • Cover Up: Wear clothes that are tightly woven in order to cover your legs and arms and protect them from the sun. You can wear a hat that is broad-brimmed which works to provide you with more protection.
  • Avoid Tanning Beds: UV exposure from certain tanning beds can lead to damage to your skin because you acquired the tan from the sun.
  • Notice Your Skin Regularly: You have to daily notice alterations in your skin. Look if new skin growths are developing. 
  • Report Skin Alterations To Your Doctor: You have to report changes in your skin to your doctor. 


Your doctor examines your skin to diagnose the condition of actinic keratosis. He or she may do certain other tests in case if he or she has doubts regarding your skin. You may have to go through a skin biopsy. 

During this procedure, your doctor takes a small sample from the area of your skin. He sends this sample to a lab for further analysis. A doctor can do a biopsy in his office after giving you a numbing injection. 

Even your doctor can recommend you to have further skin tests if you are recovered from skin cancer or other conditions of the skin.

Latest Post

Related Post