About Actinic Keratoses

What are Actinic Keratoses?

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) such as sunlight. Up to 58 million American have AKs.

  • AKsAKs are often called “sun spots”
  • They occur most often on areas such as the face, scalp and ears
  • They can range in color from skin toned to reddish brown
  • They can be as small as a pinhead or larger than a quarter

Who gets AKs?

AKs develop as the result of years of sun exposure. Because the effect of sun exposure is cumulative, it is your lifetime exposure that increases your risk. Even if you didn’t suntan much, years of just doing simple tasks outside can add up to significant amount of sun exposures. For example:

  • Going out to the mailbox
  • Playing an outdoor sport
  • Walking the dog

Because AKs take a long time to develop, they generally appear after the age of 40. Your risk of developing AKs increases if you have one or more of the risk factors:

  • A history of cumulative sun exposure
  • Fair skin
  • Blond or red hair, in particular if combined with blue, hazel or green eyes
  • A tendency to freckle or burn after sun exposure
  • A weakened immune system

Photodynamic Therapy is a 2-step Treatment Procedure

LevulanKerastickStep 1: Application of the Levulan Kerastick® Topical Solution

  • Levulan will be uniformaly applied to your AK lesions.
  • Your provider will direct you to wait the recommended time of 60-90 minutes in order to allow the solution to penetrate the targeted cells.
  • Avoid exposing the treated lesions to sunlight or bright light for at least 48 hours after application. Examples include household lights at close range or playing sports such as golf. Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions caused by visible light during this time.

BLU-UStep 2: BLU-U® Light Treatment

  • Before your BLU-U light treatment, the AKs to be treated should be gently rinsed and patted dry.
  • Your treatment with the BLU-U will take approximately 15 minutes.
  • Protective eyewear should be worn during your BLU-U treatment.

Ocala Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center
3233 SW 33rd Rd., Suite 101  •  Ocala, Florida 34474  •  352-237-2322
10915 SE 177th Place  •  Summerfield, Florida 34491  •  352-347-4500