What is actinic or solar keratosis?
Actinic keratosis, or solar keratosis, is a skin condition that develops with age and is primarily caused by long term sun exposure. The condition presents with hard, dry, scaly spots of skin, usually on the scalp, face, backs of the hands and forearms.
What does treatment involve?
Once your consultant dermatologist has made the diagnosis, there are a variety of creams you may be prescribed which can be effective in milder cases.
Thicker keratoses may be frozen off using a technique known as cryotherapy, which involves the use of liquid nitrogen.
If the keratosis has become extremely thickened and raised or if there is a suspicion that it may be turning cancerous surgery may be appropriate. The procedure may involve a biopsy to sample. The keratosis is removed with a surgical curette or cutting out with a scalpel.
When will I recover?
Following the treatment, you should be able to return home half an hour after surgery. You are likely to be left with some scarring or discoloured skin, depending on the severity of the affected area.