Treatment for actinic keratoses

If you are diagnosed with actinic keratosis you should discuss with your doctor the different treatment options. The information below may be useful to give you an idea of what options are available.

Actinic keratoses  may regress on its own and a minority of cases develop into skin cancer . It is, however, impossible to tell which lesions have the potential to become cancerous so treatment is recommended.

Treating actinic keratoses involves removal of the affected cells.  The best way of doing this depends on the size and location of the lesions, as well as what is right for you.

Single lesions

If your actinic keratosis is limited to a single visible lesion, it may be treated with creams, gels or procedures that burn, freeze or surgically remove the affected lesion.

Larger, surrounding areas of skin (field damage)

Topical treatments including creams and/or, gels are often used when actinic keratoses are spread over a larger area.  This type of treatment often needs to be used for several weeks and may cause temporary reddening or blistering of the skin.  There may also be a burning sensation when the cream is applied.

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