Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Actinic Keratosis


Actinic keratosis develops from years of sun exposure and usually first appears in people over 40 years of age.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Actinic Keratosis 

Actinic keratosis is a rough, scaly patch on the skin that develops from years of sun exposure.


  • Also known as a solar keratosis, actinic keratosis grows slowly and usually first appears in people over 40 years of age.
  • The impact can be reduced by minimizing sun exposure and protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays.
  • Symptoms include rough, dry, or scaly patches of skin, usually less than 1 inch in diameter; flat to slightly raised patches or bumps; a hard, wart-like surface; color variations, including pink, red, or brown skin; itching, burning, bleeding, and crusting on the skin.
  • Treatment includes medicated cream or gel to remove the impacted skin, such as fluorouracil, imiquimod, or diclofenac. There are other methods also used, including freezing (cryotherapy), scraping (curettage), laser therapy, or photodynamic therapy.
  • Sources:
  • Actinic keratosis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
  • actinic keratosis image - Google Search
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