Integrated Dermatology of NJ

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis services offered in East Brunswick, NJ

Actinic Keratosis

Rough, scaly skin patches could indicate a condition called actinic keratosis, a common concern that affects about 58 million Americans and could become cancerous. At Integrated Dermatology of NJ in East Brunswick, New Jersey, the experienced dermatology team treats actinic keratosis to clear up your skin and lessen the chance of complications. Schedule an actinic keratosis evaluation at Integrated Dermatology of NJ by phone or request one online today.


What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a skin disorder characterized by rough, dry, scaly skin patches typically caused by frequent sun exposure. When not treated, about 5-10% of cases develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. See the Integrated Dermatology of NJ experts at the first sign of new or unusual skin changes, especially if your skin is often exposed to the sun. 

What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis can cause:

  • Rough skin
  • Dry, scaly patches
  • Hardened skin
  • Wart-like patches
  • Flat skin patch
  • Raised bump
  • Red, pink, or brown patch
  • Burning 
  • Itching
  • Bleeding or crusting skin

Skin changes due to actinic keratosis may develop on your lips, ears, face, scalp, neck, forearm, or the back of your hands (areas frequently exposed to the sun). They typically grow slowly, often appearing in people over 40.

What increases the risk of actinic keratosis?

Risk factors for developing actinic keratosis include:

  • Sunlight or tanning bed exposure
  • Having blond or red hair with light-colored eyes
  • Being over 40
  • Living in a sunny climate
  • Working outdoors
  • Weakened immune system
  • Tendency to burn or freckle with sunlight exposure
  • History of frequent sun exposure

Protecting your skin from the sun using sunscreen or protective clothing and avoiding tanning beds reduces the risk of actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma. 

How does my provider diagnose actinic keratosis?

Diagnosing actinic keratosis at Integrated Dermatology of NJ involves a discussion about your symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, and medications. Your provider asks about any previous diagnoses and completes a skin evaluation to look at new or unusual skin changes. They may also obtain a skin biopsy and send the sample to a lab for analysis.

How is actinic keratosis treated?

Treating actinic keratosis at Integrated Dermatology of NJ may include:

  • Watchful waiting
  • Medicated creams or gels
  • Scraping with electrosurgery
  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Laser therapy 
  • Photodynamic therapy 

Actinic keratosis sometimes goes away on its own, but it could return with additional sun exposure. It’s important to see your dermatologist routinely if you have a history of actinic keratosis or other skin conditions. Perform routine skin checks at home and report any unusual findings to your provider.

Schedule an actinic keratosis evaluation at Integrated Dermatology of NJ by calling the office or using the online booking feature today.