Quick Answer: How Dangerous Is Actinic Keratosis?

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..

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.

Is there an over the counter treatment for actinic keratosis?

Topical imiquimod cream stimulates a local immune response in the skin, leading to destruction of the actinic keratosis cells. It can be applied at home and is typically used two to three times a week for up to 16 weeks, making this a longer course of treatment compared to topical fluorouracil.

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.

Should I worry about actinic keratosis?

Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. Because of this, the lesions are often called precancer. They are not life-threatening. But if they are found and treated early, they do not have the chance to develop into skin cancer.

Should actinic keratosis be removed?

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 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…

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.

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.

Is actinic keratosis deadly?

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are a common skin condition characterized by rough, red, scaly patches, crusts, or sores on the top layer of skin (see Figures 1 & 2). If left untreated, they can progress to a type of invasive skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which can be fatal (see Table 1 ).

Can Apple cider vinegar get rid of actinic keratosis?

All you have to is just take a small piece of cotton, dip it in the apple cider vinegar and dab on the affected area. Do this step many times a day and night and within two or three months, you will the patches are going away for good.

Can you scratch off actinic keratosis?

While an actinic keratosis can sometimes resolve on its own, it usually recurs after further sun exposure; if scratched or picked off, it will return as well.