Symptoms include rough, scaly patches on the skin caused by years of sun exposure.
Incidence: Very Common
○ In one large study, actinic keratoses were seen in 49% of light skinned men over the age of 45 and 29% of women.
Actinic keratosis usually affects older adults but can be seen in the 20s and 30s with lots of sun or tanning bed exposure. Reducing sun exposure and daily sunscreen use will reduce the risk. Lesions are most common on the sun exposed areas like the face, lips, ears, back of hands, forearms, scalp, and neck. The rough, scaly skin patch enlarges slowly. In the early stages, the scale may come off and the lesion may look like it has gone only to recur again later.
Often, the lesions are slightly tender. Over time, the lesions can turn into a skin cancer, usually squamous cell carcinoma. Because they are precancerous they are usually removed as a precaution.