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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Actinic Keratosis: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Actinic Keratosis

Alternate Names : Solar Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatments for actinic keratosis include:

  • chemical peeling, which uses trichloroacetic acid or phenol to cause the top layer of skin to slough off
  • cryosurgery, which uses extreme cold to destroy abnormal cells
  • curettage and desiccation, which involves scraping of the lesion followed by electrocautery to control bleeding
  • dermabrasion, which involves sanding off the top layers of the lesion
  • laser surgery, which removes the lesions
  • shave removal with a scalpel, followed by electrocautery to stop bleeding
  • topical medicines, such as 5-fluorouracil or masoprocol, which remove the lesions
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Medicines may cause loss of pigmentation in the treated skin area or allergic reactions. Surgical procedures can cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    After treatment, the sites usually heal into smooth skin and are unnoticeable. The person will still have a tendency to develop precancerous lesions. The person should follow skin cancer prevention guidelines for the rest of his or her life.

    How is the condition monitored?

    A person with actinic keratosis is much more likely to have true skin cancer than most people. He or she should have regular skin checks with the healthcare provider. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the provider.

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    Actinic Keratosis: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

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