Quick Answer: Can You Scratch Off Actinic Keratosis?

What does actinic keratosis look like?

Actinic keratoses (ak-TIN-ik ker-uh-TOE-seez) appear as rough, scaly raised patches that range in color from almost white to tan to dark pink or brown..

What happens if Actinic keratosis is left untreated?

Actinic keratosis (AK) causes rough, scaly skin patches. Left untreated, AK can lead to a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. The best way to prevent AK is to protect yourself from sun damage. If you notice new red or rough bumps on your skin, call your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Can actinic keratosis look like a pimple?

Rough, scaly bumps that may looks like pimples The arrows on this woman’s face point to actinic keratoses. Many scaly, raised spots on the skin that may look like a rash or acne breakout.

Does hydrocortisone help actinic keratosis?

Topical 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily for a week may reduce the symptoms. One of the biggest advantages of Efudix, is that an effective treatment may result in remission from actinic keratoses for up to five years before further treatment is required.

How can I get rid of my keratosis at home?

Treating keratosis pilaris at homeExfoliate gently. When you exfoliate your skin, you remove the dead skin cells from the surface. … Apply a product called a keratolytic. After exfoliating, apply this skin care product. … Slather on moisturizer.

How can you tell the difference between squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis?

One important clue in visual inspection and differentiation between SCC and AK is the size of the lesion. Generally AK lesions tend to be smaller than SCC lesions. Invasive SCC typically is a tender, enlarging hyperkeratotic lesion that may become nodular and ulcerate.

What causes actinic keratosis?

An actinic keratosis is caused by frequent or intense exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds.

Can you pick off actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratoses often disappear for weeks but return in the same location and will grow back if picked off. Untreated actinic keratoses can become squamous cell carcinoma and are considered pre-cancerous growths. Early detection and treatment is essential to prevent this progression.

What is the best treatment for actinic keratosis?

Procedures for treating actinic keratosisCryotherapy: A common treatment for AKs, this procedure can treat 1 or 2 AKs that you can clearly see. … Chemical peel: This is a medical-grade chemical peel used to destroy the top layers of skin. … Curettage: If you have an extremely thick AK, this may the best treatment.More items…

Can actinic keratosis be itchy?

Actinic keratoses start out as thick, scaly, crusty skin patches. These patches are usually about the size of a small pencil eraser. There might be itching or burning in the affected area. Over time, the lesions can disappear, enlarge, remain the same, or develop into SCC.

Should I worry about actinic keratosis?

Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. Because of this, the lesions are often called precancer. They are not life-threatening. But if they are found and treated early, they do not have the chance to develop into skin cancer.

Is there an over the counter treatment for actinic keratosis?

Topical imiquimod cream stimulates a local immune response in the skin, leading to destruction of the actinic keratosis cells. It can be applied at home and is typically used two to three times a week for up to 16 weeks, making this a longer course of treatment compared to topical fluorouracil.