Actinic Keratosis

What is it?

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

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 your face, scalp, and back of the neck.
  • 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 a free 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.