Actinic keratosis is a very common type of skin lesion.
Actinic keratoses are superficial skin lesions that can appear either on their own or in patches. They typically present as small red or brown patches of skin, sometimes with a scaly surface or even horn-like structures. They feel rough to the touch.
Actinic keratosis most often occurs in places that have experienced chronic sun exposure over many years. Typical areas include the face, chest, back of the hands, ears and scalp.
Actinic keratoses are generally considered to be precancerous. They should be treated to prevent them from developing into squamous cell carcinomas.
Solitary lesions are often frozen with liquid nitrogen to destroy the abnormal cells. In cases with multiple lesions, they can be treated locally with a medical treatment applied with creams that either; stimulate the local immune response, make the cancerous cells sensitive to light, or contain chemotherapy drugs.