Sam Speron, M D, F A C S

Board Certified
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

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Actinic KeratosisActinic Keratosis - A Sample Picture

Actinic Keratosis - Early Signs of CancerI. Definition:

Actinic keratosis (AKs) is known as the early beginnings of skin cancer.  This most common lesion of the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight (specifically to ultraviolet wavelengths).  AKs are most likely to appear after age 40-50, and years of chronic exposure to the sun.  However, in geographic areas with year-round high-intensity sunlight (e.g., Florida, southern California).  AKs are now found in persons as young as the teens and twenties.  The incidence of AKs is over 50 percent in older, fair-skinned persons in hot, sunny geographic areas.