Actinic keratosis (also known as solar keratosis or sun spots) is pre-cancerous in nature. These are pre-cursors or early forms of squamous cell carcinoma. These are rough, scaly, or warty skin colored or red patches that can be irritable and usually occur on the back of hands, face or chest areas. These require treatment for both medical and cosmetic reasons.
Actinic keratosis treatment options include:
- Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen spray)
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) including daylight, Aktilite (red light) and laser photodynamic therapy.
- Topical creams and gels
- A chemotherapy cream (5-fluorouracil)
- Imiquimod (Aldara®): works via stimulating your own skin's immune anticancer mechanisms
- Ingenol mebutate (Picato®): an extract from a Queensland weed that has proven effective in reducing and clearing actinic keratosis
- Diclofenac gel (Solaraze®): an anti-inflammatory also used to treat arthritis