Actinic Keratosis: symptoms, treatment and prevention

By Hervé , on January 24, 2023 , updated on April 18, 2023 - 5 minutes to read

Actinic keratosis is a skin lesion caused by excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. It is a common condition that usually occurs on exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, hands and arms. Actinic keratosis causes changes in the appearance and texture of the skin. It can also cause itching and pain. Fortunately, there are several simple and effective ways to treat this common skin condition and prevent its long-term complications.

What is the treatment for actinic keratosis?

Treatment for actinic keratosis is prescribed by a dermatologist and may include surgical removal of the abnormal skin cells, as well as topical treatments such as corticosteroid creams, retinoic acid and fluorouracil creams. In some cases, cryotherapy or laser therapy may also be used, depending on the type and severity of squamous cell keratosis.

What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin condition that occurs when the skin is damaged by excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Symptoms of actinic keratosis include red, scaly areas on the skin, blisters and hard patches. The condition can usually be diagnosed by a dermatologist or physician by examining the skin. A biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Proper diagnosis and treatment of actinic keratosis is essential because it increases the risk of developing skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

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What is the prevention of actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a form of premature skin cancer that occurs when a person is exposed to harmful ultraviolet light for long periods of time. People who are exposed to excessive sunlight, artificial lights or tanning lamps are most at risk. Prevention of actinic keratosis involves limiting exposure to ultraviolet radiation and consulting a dermatologist if signs or symptoms are present. Regular skin testing should also be done to look for keratosis and early treatment is important. Treatments include topical creams, surgical removal, cryotherapy and phototherapy.

What are the risks associated with actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a skin condition caused by prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. The main symptoms associated with this condition are red, rough or scaly skin lesions. People at risk are those who expose their skin to the sun for long periods of time, either professionally or for leisure, without adequate protection. If actinic keratosis is not treated in time, it can lead to further complications such as skin irritation and even skin cancer. In order to mitigate the risks associated with actinic keratosis, it is important to use adequate sun protection and undergo regular appropriate treatment if necessary.

Is actinic keratosis contagious?

Actinic keratosis is a skin lesion caused by excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. It appears as red, scaly patches or scales on the skin and can be very painful. Unfortunately, keratosis is not contagious: it cannot be transmitted from one person to another, but it is possible that people with the same skin type and similar sun exposure may also develop skin lesions. It is therefore important to practice protective measures against ultraviolet rays to avoid the development of actinic keratoses.

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La kératose actinique est causée par une exposition prolongée aux rayons UV du soleil ou des lampes de bronzage. Les personnes ayant un teint clair sont plus susceptibles d’en souffrir que celles ayant un teint foncé. Cette affection cutanée est courante chez les personnes âgées de plus de 40 ans mais peut également affecter les jeunes adultes. Elle se manifeste sous forme de taches rugueuses et squameuses sur la peau exposée au soleil comme le visage, les bras et le dos des mains. Si elle n’est pas traitée à temps, elle peut évoluer en cancer de la peau.


In summary, actinic keratosis is a chronic skin condition caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of ultraviolet light from the sun. It can affect all layers of the skin and can present itself in different forms, ranging from red, rough patches to abnormal pigmentation. The best way to prevent actinic keratosis is to limit sun exposure and use broad-spectrum sunscreen products to block harmful ultraviolet rays. There are a variety of treatments available to slow or stop the progression of the lesions.

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