Actinic Keratosis in Great Neck, NY

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What is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a scaly, rough, crusty lesion that forms on the skin in spots exposed to the sun. It often appears on the lips, face, scalp, ears, shoulders, and other places regularly exposed. Generally, the affected regions will have several lesions. The lesions grow progressively over time and might vanish and reappear. They are often itchy, uncomfortable, and eventually become inflamed. This skin condition is considered precancerous so it could be a cause of concern if it isn't treated and could become cancer. During your exam at our Great Neck, NY office, we will discuss your condition and non surgical options for treatment.

What Are the Causes of ACTINIC KERATOSIS?

Chronic sun exposure is the principal instigator of actinic keratosis, and it is more common in older patients with years of sun damage. While only a small percentage of AKs turn into skin cancer, it's important to understand exactly what this skin condition presents as and how to treat it. In a lot of cases, this skin condition shows up as lesions that appear red and scaly, in addition to clusters of bumps and dark crusty areas that do not heal.

What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Actinic Keratosis?

Risk factors associated with actinic keratosis include chronic sun exposure, particularly in fair-skinned individuals, and a history of frequent sunburns. Additionally, factors such as age, male gender, and living in regions with high levels of ultraviolet radiation can increase the risk of developing actinic keratosis. Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, are also at higher risk. Other risk factors may include a personal or family history of skin cancer, outdoor occupations or activities, and the use of tanning beds or sunlamps. Understanding these risk factors can help individuals take preventive measures, such as sun protection and regular skin examinations, to reduce the likelihood of developing actinic keratosis and other sun-related skin conditions. Early detection and treatment at Bodian Dermatology are crucial for preventing the progression of actinic keratosis to invasive skin cancer.

what are the Symptoms of actinic keratosis?

After the skin condition first appears, it might only feel like rough texture of your skin. Sometimes, this area may itch and be inflamed. Over time, particularly if it is exposed to more sun, the patchy area will turn red, scaly, bumpy, and inflamed and continue to grow. The more they spread, the higher the odds of developing skin cancer. Any warning sign should be assessed as soon as possible by a professional so therapy can be provided and potential prevention discussed.


Early diagnosis and treatment are essential so an isolated case of actinic keratosis doesn't become cancer. The treatment option recommended will vary based on numerous factors, such as your age and health, skin color, how prevalent the problem is, growth characteristics of the lesion(s), area, etc. Frequently used treatment options include:

  • Cryosurgery: using liquid nitrogen to remove lesions
  • Electrodesiccation and Curettage: a process that removes skin lesions by scraping the skin down to a healthy layer
  • Medicines: certain medication can be helpful in minimizing the appearance and volume of lesions and decreasing the incidence of scarring
  • Photo Dynamic Therapy: This is a two stage treatment that combines a photo sensitizing cream with light energy to destroy cancerous and pre cancerous cells. "This is an extremely effective way to treat large areas of sun damage with an excellent cosmetic result"  according to Dr. Adam Bodian

Actinic Keratosis FAQ

What is actinic keratosis and should I be concerned?
Actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch that forms on the skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun. At Bodian Dermatology, we take it seriously as it's considered a precursor to skin cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for effective management.

How is actinic keratosis diagnosed at Bodian Dermatology?
Diagnosis typically involves a thorough skin examination by one of our skilled dermatologists. In some cases, a biopsy may be recommended to rule out skin cancer. Our state-of-the-art facilities ensure accurate and quick diagnoses.

What are the treatment options available at Bodian Dermatology?
Treatment at Bodian Dermatology may vary from topical creams to minor surgical procedures like cryotherapy. Other options include laser therapy and photodynamic therapy. We tailor treatment plans to meet individual patient needs.

Learn more about Treatment Options

In case you have lesions that you think may be linked to sunlight exposure and might be an actinic keratosis, we recommend contacting Bodian Dermatology in Great Neck, NY to arrange your appointment. Virtually all AKs can be removed if caught and treated early. We will provide a thorough analysis of your skin and provide the very best possible recommendation for a healthy, long-term outcome.

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