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Actinic keratosis – Prevention is Key

Elderly MenSan Diego County has 146 days of full sun, and another 117 partly sunny days, each year. That makes our climate ideal for outdoor activities. It is also a primary factor in the development of actinic keratosis, a pre-cancerous skin condition. Encinitas dermatologist, Dr. Amanda Lloyd, helps patients prevent actinic keratosis.

The Basics of Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratoses are raised scaly or crusty growths on the skin. These lesions are usually red, but may be flesh-toned, pink, or tan. Ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning disrupts DNA in skin cells making them atypical and creating an actinic keratosis.

Actinic keratoses usually appear on sun-exposed areas and individuals with fair complexions are at highest risk. The incidence is greater in men than in women, probably because they spend more time outdoors without sun protection.

Why the Worry?

Actinic keratoses are pre-cancers. Without treatment, an estimated ten percent develop into a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. It is important to know that anyone, of either gender, all ethnic backgrounds, and any skin tone, can get skin cancer.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating all actinic keratoses decreases risk of skin cancer. It also makes the skin look and feel healthier and younger.

Dr. Amanda Lloyd stresses the essential role of protection and skin cancer prevention. Actinic keratoses are best prevented with daily application of a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen. A quality product won’t irritate the skin, and will provide defense through the day. Reapplication is necessary on days spent in the sun.

Treatment options for existing actinic keratoses include topical medications, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, surgical excision, and laser therapy. Dr. Lloyd works with you to establish the best treatment strategy to eliminate actinic keratoses, and to create an effective prevention plan going forward.

Call Skin & Vein Institute at (760) 642-6674 to schedule an appointment.

Meet Dr. Amanda Lloyd


She can help you look and feel even more amazing in your skin because she is well trained in all aspects of dermatology including laser and cosmetics, skin cancer management including Mohs surgery and cosmetic reconstruction, medical dermatology and venous disease.

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