Why choose us for actinic keratosis care?
Actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch of skin that is considered a precancer. At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, our team is expertly trained to diagnose and treat all types of precancerous skin growths.
You’ll be under the care of board-certified dermatologists who have received in-depth training into what actinic keratosis looks like and how to treat it.
We use leading actinic keratosis treatments in your care. We also customize a plan with scheduled skin cancer screenings to help you protect your long-term health.
Find out more about our skin cancer program.
What you need to know about actinic keratosis
- Actinic keratoses (plural) may present in different ways. They often look like a crusty, scaly or dry area of skin. Also called solar keratosis, these precancerous growths commonly show up on parts of the body that get a lot of sun (like the face and neck).
- Actinic keratosis doesn’t mean you have cancer. But some of these patches can eventually turn into squamous cell skin cancer if left untreated. Because of this possibility, having actinic keratosis increases your chances for developing skin cancer at some point in your life.
- Our dermatologists are trained and experienced in recognizing the minute differences between actinic keratosis and other skin conditions. We use research-based treatments to help protect your health now and for years to come.
- Certain factors, like fair (light) skin and indoor tanning, increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Regular skin cancer screenings can detect actinic keratoses or other skin issues before they become a serious problem.
- Our team makes it easy to prioritize your health. We provide a wide spectrum of dermatology services at Mays Cancer Center. We’ll recommend a personalized plan based on your risk and needs.
How to talk to your doctor about actinic keratosis
Our dermatologists and support team are here to help you safeguard the health of your skin. We take the time to evaluate you thoroughly and explain your treatment options in detail. We encourage you to involve family members or other loved ones in your care decisions, should that be helpful to you.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, you may need to inform your diagnosis or treatment plan
- Condition details, including what your diagnosis means for your risk of developing skin cancer sometime in the future
- Treatment options, including what steps you should take after treatment to protect your skin
- Skin cancer prevention, including skin safety tips and how often your doctor recommends skin cancer screening to help protect your long-term health
Doctors classify actinic keratosis by where it shows up on the body and how cells look under a microscope. When actinic keratosis develops on the lip, it’s called actinic cheilitis.
Our doctors are trained to recognize common and rare forms of actinic keratosis. This expertise helps us deliver the most appropriate treatment for you.