Actinic keratoses (AKs) are scaly, red, elevated growths that generally occur on the face, arms and hands, but can appear anywhere. These growths are not malignant, but they are precancerous, meaning that they can develop into skin cancers if left untreated.
AKs are caused by previous sun exposure. They often appear in patients with lighter skin, who are more sensitive to the adverse effects of the sun.
Sun damage is permanent. Once an AK develops, new ones can occur without additional sun exposure, but it is wise to avoid further sun damage by using 30 or more SPF sunscreen.
Cryotherapy is a common treatment for AKs. This involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze the affected areas. A topical cream can be used to treat many lesions at the same time. This medication is called 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and is applied for two weeks, killing sun damaged skin cells. Another topical cream called imiquimod may be used to activate the body’s immune system. The immune system will then attack and destroy sun damaged skin. Dr. Lerner will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your particular case.
At Dermatology Surgical and Medical, we accept most major medical insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed below. Please note that we currently DO NOT accept any HMO insurance plans or Medi-Cal.