Medical and Surgical Dermatology
Actinic Keratosis (Pre-Cancerous Growths)
- These growths typically appear as light pink or pale gray scaly “bumps” on sun exposed areas of the skin. They can sometimes itch or feel “irritated”. If not treated they can continue to grow into hard horn-like protrusions and progress to develop into a skin cancer.
- Chronic exposure to UV radiation from the sun induces DNA damage to the cells in the top layer of the skin (keratinocytes). With time, these abnormal cells replicate and accumulate, forming these small growths pre-cancerous growths.
- Treatment of these lesions depends on how many are present in a given location. Individual or a few lesions can be “frozen” with liquid nitrogen. More extensive involvement is best treated with “field” treatment using creams or chemical peels.
|5-fluorouracil (Efudex)||Liquid nitrogen (“freezing”)|
|Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara)||Chemical peels|