About Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a reddish, scaly, rough, tender lesion that forms on the skin in areas that are exposed to the sun. It most often appears on the face, scalp, ears, arms, and other areas frequently exposed to the sun. Generally, the areas of skin affected will have more than one lesion. For this reason, the plural of this condition is known as actinic keratoses. These lesions develop slowly over time and may disappear and reappear. They are often itchy, uncomfortable, and become inflamed. During a thorough skin assessment, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adean Kingston of Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC in Dallas, Texas will analyze the lesion, sometimes utilizing dermoscopy. This skin condition is considered precancerous, so it can be a cause for concern if not treated as it could develop into skin cancer. Removal of the lesion(s) will most likely be recommended and treatment options discussed during your examination.
"Great, as always!"- E.W. / ZocDoc / Jan 16, 2019
"This is my first Yelp review EVER, that's how good Dr. Kingston is. I was a new patient and have suffered from chronic acne for over a decade. I printed the "New patient form" and filled it out before I arrived. I wasn't in the waiting room for more than 5 minutes. It's the most beautiful doctors office I've ever seen, all windows, clean, and very easy parking. She came in quickly and immediately questioned me about my problems. Then she did a thorough teaching session about my treatment plan, making sure I didn't have any questions before I left. And who said she doesn't look like the pictures on Yelp? WHAT?! She's even more beautiful in person, even though that shouldn't make a difference. The desk lady was incredibly nice, the nurse was incredibly nice, and obviously so was the dr. The entire appointment took less than 30 minutes in and out. I was so nervous to come to the doctor about my skin, thinking she would tell me she knew more about my condition than I did. (I've had this problem for over 10 years. I know what my skin likes /dislikes) She listened to me. She educated me. God bless this Dr!!!"- K.K. / Yelp / Dec 04, 2019
"Amazing doctor and caring staffing. Highly recommend."- Anonymous / ZocDoc / Dec 04, 2019
"fast and easy! Very nice staff."- Anonymous / ZocDoc / Dec 03, 2019
"Office is so charming, making a trip to the doctor's office that much more appealing. Staff is extremely pleasant and welcoming. Parking is easy and free on surrounding streets. Got a photo-facial done by Mia, who took the extra step of walking me through the whole process as a first timer. It's a great way of removing sun-spots on the face. Already seeing great results! Highly recommended."- J.P. / Google / Nov 28, 2019
Excessive sun exposure is the primary cause of actinic keratosis and it is more prevalent in older individuals from years of cumulative sun damage. While only a small percentage of AKs turn into skin cancer, it's important to understand what this skin condition looks like and how to treat it. Usually, this skin condition shows up as lesions that look red and scaly, as well as bumps and dark crusty areas that show up in several clusters that do not heal.
When the condition first appears, it may only feel like rough texture on the skin. Sometimes this area will itch and become irritated. Over time, especially if it is exposed to more sun, the patchy area will turn red, scaly, bumpy, and inflamed and continue to grow. The more they spread, the greater the chances of developing skin cancer. Any warning sign should be checked as soon as possible, so treatment can be provided and future prevention discussed.
Early intervention and treatment is important so that an isolated actinic keratosis (or multiple actinic keratoses) does not become skin cancer. The treatment option recommended will vary depending on numerous factors such as your age and health, skin color, how widespread the condition is, growth characteristics of the lesion(s), location, etc. Usual treatment options include:
- Cryosurgery – the method of taking liquid nitrogen and using it to destroy lesions
- Electrodesiccation & Curettage – a procedure which removes skin lesions by scraping the skin down to an unaffected layer
- Medication – certain medication can be helpful in reducing the appearance and volume of lesions and reducing the incidence of scarring
- Chemical peels – certain agents used in chemical peels can remove the top layer of unhealthy skin, stimulating new growth and replacing the damaged tissue
Reverse Sun Damage
If you have lesions that you believe may be related to sun exposure and could be actinic keratosis, we recommend calling our Dallas, Texas practice, Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC to schedule your consultation. Almost all AKs can be eliminated if caught and treated early. We will provide a thorough analysis of your skin and give the best possible recommendation for a healthy, long-term outcome.