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Is Actinic Keratosis Dangerous?

Actinic keratosis on face of older man

Actinic keratosis is a direct result of repeated sun exposure. It doesn’t show up until later years and can often be a surprise when it does.

Besides the displeasing appearance and feel, actinic keratosis can be a suggestion that skin cancer could follow. Not all AKs become skin cancer, but it’s smart to have them checked by a dermatologist who knows what to look for. Without a trained eye, it’s difficult to impossible to self diagnose whether a rough raised area is an AK or a beginning stage skin cancer.

Fraxel Treatment of Actinic Keratosis

Prior to lasers, the usual treatment for AK was cryotherapy or “freezing”. This is still an option for the lesions that are easily delineated, but not so for widespread lesion fields, which can be treated with chemical agents applied to the skin or with photodynamic therapy which incorporates a chemical agent and an activating light.

Because Actinic Keratosis can show up on any area of the face or body that’s been repeatedly exposed to the sun, it’s often that those who have reached a mature age being to see or feel rough patches that feel somewhat like dried glue. Treating larger areas becomes difficult if not very uncomfortable with chemo creams or cryotherapy.

Fraxel quickly treats an entire field without the use of chemicals or “chemo agents” and many patients prefer the simplicity and more controlled response.

Fraxel laser treats both the actinic keratoses lesions that you can see now, and also the ones that may still be forming. A series of treatments not only can remove or dramatically reduce the lesions, but can also improve skin quality overall.

AK Treatment Areas with Fraxel

If you’re among the many who used to “tan” or spent long beach days with no or inadequate sun protection, it’s likely you have AKs not only on your face, but also on other areas. Fraxel can be used on the face, chest, arms and legs to treat these lesions.