What Happens If You Dont Treat Actinic Keratosis?

When should I worry about actinic keratosis?

Key points about actinic keratosis People are more at risk for this if they have pale skin, blonde or eyes that are blue, green, or gray.

A skin exam and sometimes a biopsy are needed to diagnose this skin problem.

Actinic keratoses are often treated, because over time they might turn into skin cancer..

How can you tell the difference between squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis?

One important clue in visual inspection and differentiation between SCC and AK is the size of the lesion. Generally AK lesions tend to be smaller than SCC lesions. Invasive SCC typically is a tender, enlarging hyperkeratotic lesion that may become nodular and ulcerate.

Can you burn off actinic keratosis?

There can be burning, stinging, and changes in pigmentation of the skin. Chemical peel. A chemical solution is applied to the skin to cause blistering and peeling away of the actinic keratoses.

How big can actinic keratosis get?

Rough, dry or scaly patch of skin, usually less than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Flat to slightly raised patch or bump on the top layer of skin. In some cases, a hard, wartlike surface. Color as varied as pink, red or brown.

How do you get rid of keratosis?

Several options are available for removing a seborrheic keratosis:Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery). … Scraping the skin’s surface (curettage). … Burning with an electric current (electrocautery). … Vaporizing the growth with a laser (ablation). … Applying a solution of hydrogen peroxide.

What is the best treatment for actinic keratosis?

Procedures for treating actinic keratosisCryotherapy: A common treatment for AKs, this procedure can treat 1 or 2 AKs that you can clearly see. … Chemical peel: This is a medical-grade chemical peel used to destroy the top layers of skin. … Curettage: If you have an extremely thick AK, this may the best treatment.More items…

What happens if Actinic keratosis is left untreated?

Actinic keratosis (AK) causes rough, scaly skin patches. Left untreated, AK can lead to a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. The best way to prevent AK is to protect yourself from sun damage. If you notice new red or rough bumps on your skin, call your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

How dangerous is actinic keratosis?

They are caused by ultraviolet (UV) damage to the skin. Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. Because of this, the lesions are often called precancer. They are not life-threatening.

How long does it take for actinic keratosis to become cancerous?

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, your physician will treat the AKs and recheck them in three to four weeks. Any non-healing spots may then be suspect for possible cancer.

What does actinic keratosis look like?

Actinic keratoses (ak-TIN-ik ker-uh-TOE-seez) appear as rough, scaly raised patches that range in color from almost white to tan to dark pink or brown.

How can I treat keratosis at home?

Treating keratosis pilaris at homeExfoliate gently. When you exfoliate your skin, you remove the dead skin cells from the surface. … Apply a product called a keratolytic. After exfoliating, apply this skin care product. … Slather on moisturizer.

What percent of actinic keratosis turns into cancer?

Only about 10 percent of actinic keratoses will eventually become cancerous, but the majority of SCCs do begin as AKs.

Should keratosis be removed?

Your healthcare provider can often diagnose a seborrheic keratosis with a physical exam. If your healthcare provider thinks the growth might be cancer, you may need a skin biopsy. Most seborrheic keratoses don’t need treatment. You can have them removed if they cause problems or you don’t like how they look.

Can actinic keratosis go away on its own?

An actinic keratosis sometimes disappears on its own, but it typically returns after more sun exposure. Because it’s impossible to tell which patches or lesions will develop into skin cancer, actinic keratoses are usually removed as a precaution.

What does actinic keratosis look like on face?

How to spot actinic keratoses. Flat to slightly raised, scaly, crusty, rough, sometimes with a raised horn shape or bump. Red, tan, pink, skin-colored, brown or silvery. Dimensions vary from a tiny spot to as much as an inch in diameter.