About Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratosis (AK) are scaly, rough lesions that develop on the skin in areas of high sun exposure, such as the face, ears, and scalp. Most often, affected regions will present with several lesions. As such, the plural of the skin condition is called actinic keratoses. The lesions grow progressively larger with time but can also vanish and reappear. They are often uncomfortable, itchy, and can become swollen. During a comprehensive skin evaluation, Rachel Day, M.D. at OneSkin Dermatology of Chambersburg, PA will examine the lesion, sometimes using dermoscopy. This is a precancerous skin ailment that may become cancerous if it isn't treated. Elimination of the lesion(s) will probably be suggested, but any available treatment will be discussed at your exam.
"I was so nervous and self conscious about going to the dermatologist for the first time and both Dr. Day and her staff were amazing! Dr. Day was super kind and easy going and professional which made the visit a wonderful experience. I love how thorough she is and how she takes time to explain information to you to make sure you understand. Highly recommend her for your dermatologic needs!"- H.R. / Google / Jun 26, 2020
"An extremely pleasant and professional office. Dr. Day is just fantastic. The amount of time she spent with me explaining procedures, exams and next steps was very informative. Dr. Day is truly concerned about her patients and their needs. Would highly recommend this office and Dr. Day for all your dermatology needs."- J.B. / Google / Aug 31, 2020
"Dr. Day and her staff were very welcoming, helpful and thorough during my recent first visit. It was so nice to be able to get an appointment within the next day. I love the technology they use such as iPads and a texting feature which allows you to send pictures/messages to the nurses and staff if needed. I had a question after my appointment and Dr. Day personally called me back in regards to my question which truly meant so much as a patient. For a Doctor to take time out of her busy day/schedule to personally return a phone call to a patient isn’t very common these days and it did not go unnoticed. It is very apparent that Dr. Day cares about her patients. Continue to treat with your heart and you will never go wrong! I will definitely be back!"- S.L. / Google / Aug 28, 2020
"Wonderful staff in a beautiful office! Dr. Day took her time listening to me and my daughter, came up with personalized plans and changed it up when it didn’t work for us. We love Dr. Day and her staff!!"- J.A. / Google / Aug 28, 2020
"Dr. Day is truly a one of a kind! You will feel so at ease as soon as you walk in! She is so laid back and easy to have a real conversation with. You won’t be disappointed."- K.D. / Google / Aug 28, 2020
When this skin condition first arises, it might feel like a rough patch of your skin. Occasionally, this spot may itch and be inflamed. As time passes, particularly if it's exposed to sunlight, the patchy place will become reddish, scaly, raised, and swollen and will continue to spread. The further the AKs spread, the higher the odds of developing skin cancer. It's important for a specialist to examine these skin lesions as soon as possible so that therapy can be given and potential prevention methods can be put in place.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent a single actinic keratosis (or multiple keratoses) from becoming cancer. The treatment option recommended will vary depending on factors, like your health and age, skin color, how prevalent the problem is, specific features of the lesion(s), area, etc. Frequently used treatment choices include:
- Cryosurgery: The use of liquid nitrogen to remove lesions
- Electrodesiccation & Curettage: A process that eliminates skin lesions by scratching the skin down to a healthy layer
- Medicines: Certain medicines can be useful in decreasing the look and size of lesions and decreasing the prevalence of scarring
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels may eliminate the top layer of the affected skin, prompting new skin growth to replace the damaged tissues
Plan Your Service
Reverse Sun Damage
If you have lesions that you think may be linked to sunlight exposure and may be actinic keratoses, we recommend contacting our Chambersburg, PA clinic, OneSkin Dermatology, to arrange your appointment. Virtually all AKs can be removed if they are found and treated promptly. Dr. Day will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your skin and suggest the best possible recommendation for a wholesome, lasting result.