|actinic keratosis||medical dictionary|
<dermatology> A skin lesion that is abnormally sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet light (sunlight). Thought to be a precancerous skin lesion that is more common in the fair-skinned or elderly individual.
Approximately 20% of these skin lesions will develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Prevention includes the use of sun screen agents and the avoidance of drugs (for example tetracyclines) known to cause photosensitivity reactions.
Usually a discreet slightly raised, red or pink lesion located on a sun exposed surface. Texture may appear as rough, gritty or scaly. Growths may be biopsied to look for cancer or removed via cryotherapy or electrical cautery. Some topical agents may be used to promote peeling.
(27 Sep 1997)
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