Crusty, scaly, sandpaper-like spots on sun-exposed areas of the skin are characteristic of a growth known as actinic keratosis. Boise, ID, dermatologist Dr. Naomi Brooks diagnoses and treats patients exhibiting this sun-related lesion, and provides them with the education to take further appropriate preventative measures.
An actinic keratosis (AK), also called a solar keratosis, is a scaly, rough growth on the skin caused by UV damage. The plural form, actinic keratoses, is often used, because it is common to have several and numerous AKs. Skin specialists consider AKs to be precancer, which means they can develop into skin cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) if left untreated.
Treatment options include cryotherapy, topical creams (5-fluorouracil or imiquimod), liquid nitrogen, and levulon with photodynamic therapy (blue light).
An actinic keratosis typically occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, chest, hands, and arms.