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Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

Actinic Keratosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Actinic Keratosis:

Actinic Keratosis - Diagnosis and Treatment

Dermatologists perform a skin evaluation to determine if actinic keratosis (AK) is present on the skin.

If your dermatologist suspects there is an AK present, then they may perform a skin biopsy that will be sent to a laboratory to be diagnosed, cryosurgery or other at home treatments may be advised.

These AK’s are considered pre-cancer and if caught early can prevent skin cancer with the proper treatment.

Treating Actinic Keratosis:

There are many treatments for AKs. Some treatments your dermatologist can perform in the office. Other treatments you will use at home. The goal of treatment is to destroy the AKs. Some patients receive more than one type of treatment. Treatments for AKs include:

In-office procedures

Prescription medicine

Your dermatologist may prescribe a medicine that you can use at home to treat AKs. Medicines that dermatologists prescribe include:


Some people get only a few AKs. These AKs often clear with treatment.

If you have many AKs, you need to be under a dermatologist’s care. AKs form in skin that has been badly damaged by the sun or indoor tanning. This damage often causes people to get new AKs for life. Left untreated, AKs may turn into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. With frequent checkups, this skin cancer can be found early and removed. When found early and treated, most skin cancers can be cured.

Researchers continue to look for new treatments for AKs. No one treatment works on all AKs.

Your dermatologist will tell you how often you should return for checkups. Some patients need a checkup once every 8 to 12 weeks. Others return for a checkup 1 or 2 times per year.

You should keep every appointment. If skin cancer develops, the sooner it is detected and removed, the better the outcome.
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