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ak dermatology - dermatologist identifies skin damage. Learn about Actinic Keratosis treatment

What is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic Keratosis (AK), also known as Solar Keratosis, is most commonly known as sun damage. AK’s form when the skin is badly damaged from ultraviolet rays or UV rays from sun exposure, or indoor tanning. Over time, UV rays can damage our skin and in some cases, when the damage accumulates in the skin cells, our bodies are less able to repair itself. Actinic Keratosis is often dry and scaly, pink, red or sometimes a white or brown color. If left untreated, it can significantly damage healthy skin. Untreated AKs occur mainly on the back of your hands, scalp, and face. AK’s can also be painful once the area is irritated or rubbed.

Actinic Keratosis most commonly occurs in people with fair skin, ages 40+. Those who live in places with strong sunlight, particularly places close to the equator, or people who have consistently used sun tanning beds, can see AK’s appear earlier than 40 years of age. People with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or medications also have a higher risk of contracting this skin condition. More than 58 million Americans have one or more cases of Actinic Keratosis. One effective way to prevent this condition is to apply sunscreen on exposed areas of the skin when in the sun. When such a skin condition already exists, experts in AK dermatology recommend topical treatment solutions.

dry scaly arm diagnosed at an AK Dermatology clinic

Actinic Keratosis Topical Treatment Solutions

There are many ways for Actinic Keratosis treatment. Untreated AKs may turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma and the more AK’s you have, the higher your risk of skin cancer becomes. It is important to get your skin checked at an AK dermatology clinic if you notice any of the symptoms stated earlier. Here are some other common procedures for AK treatment:


  • Topical Medication – There are a few different gels and creams your AK dermatologist can prescribe which act as a chemotherapy to reduce redness and crusting of Actinic Keratosis. These topical medications need to be used over the course of a few weeks or even sometimes a few days. One of the most common meds is just a 2-3 days course of therapy. It is also very important to protect your skin from the sun during these treatments and stay away from sun exposed areas.
  • Cryotherapy – This is the most common AK treatment. Cryotherapy works by freezing off the visible AK’s on the skin. The treated skin often blisters and peels off within a few days or weeks as the skin heals.
  • Medical Chemical Peel – This strong chemical peel can only be done by your doctor and not at a salon or spa. This peel will destroy the top layers of the skin and new, healthier skin will replace it.

Recommended Ingredient to Treat Actinic Keratosis

As a dermatology pharmacy that specializes in Actinic Keratoses, here’s one of the best ingredient to look out for in medications and creams:

  • Imiquimod

AK’s usually form in pairs and it is unlikely that you will have only one AK form on your skin.

AK’s can also appear, disappear, and then reappear again on your skin. When an AK disappears, the skin can become smooth again however, the AK can reappear within a couple of days or weeks. This is why it is important for a patient to get their skin checked by a board certified Dermatologist for possible Actinic Keratosis treatment even if an AK has disappeared.

Contact our Actinic Keratosis dermatology pharmacy today, and one of our experienced pharmacists can help you with a solar keratosis cream for your skin condition.

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