As the video suggests, regularly checking your skin, or joining one of our screening programs will help bring about key early intervention.
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a pre cancerous skin condition, which can be swiftly cured with non invasive treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment are still important, AK can develop from a mild abnormality, to more serious forms of skin cancer.
Initial signs are scaly, or crusty growths on the skin, perhaps several lesions close together. They can vary in colour, from red, to pink, to tan, or be the same colour as your skin and hard to detect, sometimes easier to feel than see.
Even if you can see a few areas, people who have the condition often find this occurs afresh. Monitoring apart, one of the objectives of good diagnosis is to detect areas which are likely to become an issue.
Consultation & Diagnosis
Although caused by sun damage and common in fair skinned people, AK can appear on a wide range of skin. Lesions are also able to appear and disappear but this does not reduce the need for accurate diagnosis.
Our consultant dermatologists will examine your skin carefully, including hard to see areas, using microscopic techniques and their experience in assessing skin conditions.
If actinic keratosis is diagnosed, they will pay particular attention to the stage this is at and the areas of your body involved. Highly sensitive areas may need a specific type of treatment and the aesthetic outcome is important.
Our objective is to return your skin to the condition this should be in and to protect your health. The consultant will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Treatment Options & Approach
Actinic keratosis treatment in our London clinics is approached on the basis of minimum detriment, or discomfort, for maximum effect. A cure is vital but so is your body.
Medicated creams and solutions are frequently used to great effect, particularly on thinner lesions. Cryosurgery, freezing with liquid nitrogen, can help deal with thicker lesions.
Chemical peels are better known for reversing signs of ageing, yet can form effective actinic keratosis treatment. Often ideal for the face, with damaged skin replaced by new, healthy layers within a week.
Laser surgery in skilled hands is another good option for cosmetically important, or sensitive areas. Modern lasers can be focused accurately to remove a lesion, without even causing bleeding.
Photodynamic therapy is an exceptional treatment, combining chemical reaction and light. A good solution for the face, lips, or scalp, with a high cure rate and minimal further effect.
Patient Care & Support
Actinic Keratosis, as with any condition, needs the right treatment for a lasting cure. Our consultants will discuss options and outcomes with you at every stage.
Skin cancer treatment can have side effects, often temporary, such as skin reddening, inflammation, or blistering. These will also be discussed and the best way to care for your skin after treatment explained.
With early detection, the cure rate for AK and allied conditions is extremely high. Come and talk to us in an open way about any concerns you have, a conversation which will be focused on a personal solution.
- See the facilities in Chelsea: Central London Clinic.
- Visit our centre in Barnet: North London Clinic.
- Managing minor skin cancers: Early Diagnosis.
- Ways to protect your skin: Our Skin Cancer Blog.
For any advice, or to arrange a dermatology appointment, call 020 3535 7850, or send us an email via the Make An Appointment button below.