Actinic Keratosis

What is it?

Actinic keratosis is a pre-malignant condition of the skin caused by sun damage. It consists of scaly or crusty patches on skin, most commonly found in sun-exposed areas such as face, scalp, arms, and legs. The patches of actinic keratosis usually range 2-6mm in size. It has up to 20% risk of progression to squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated.

What Treatments Are Available?

Actinic keratosis is easy to diagnose clinically, and there are a number of treatment options available:

  • Cryosurgery: freezing it off with liquid Nitrogen
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves applying a chemical such as Levulan, which sensitizes the lesion to light. The affected skin is then exposed to a special blue light source such as “Blu-U” or IPL or BBL to activate the chemical which was absorbed by the abnormal skin cells, causing the pre-cancerous and cancerous cells to be destroyed.
  • Laser therapy with either Erbium or CO2 laser to evaporate the lesions
  • Electrical cautery to simply “burn off” the lesions
  • Imiquimod (Aldara), an immune enhancing agent for topical treatment
  • Surgical excision


  • What are the common areas of Actinic Keratosis?

The areas of your body that usually get the most sunlight such as face, scalp, and back of the neck are the common areas of infection.

  • Is Actinic Keratosis contagious?

No, it is not contagious.

  • Is it heredity?

No, if a relative has actinic keratosis that does not mean you will get it.

Come and visit our clinic to treat your Actinic Keratosis.

Book your consultation today. Call us at 604-284-5501 if you have any questions. Our friendly trained staff will help you every step of the way.