Actinic keratoses refer to the skin lesions formed due to chronic sun exposure. The disease is also termed as solar keratoses and is characterized by the formation of the rough and scaly patches on the skin. Actinic keratoses are also caused due to abnormal proliferation of keratinocytes (a cell type present in layers of skin). It results in the formation of red plaques in sun-exposed body parts.  These lesions may be rough and scaly and may cause soreness and irritation.

If you are above 40 years, live in hot places, have a sun-sensitive skin, frequent exposure to sun and if your immune system is weak you are at high risk to getting sunburn associated with actinic keratosis. These plaques are mostly healed by themselves but could also pose the risk of development of skin cancer.

Actinic keratoses


  • Formation of red, brown coloured lesions on the skin.
  • Rough, dry or scaly patch of skin
  • Inflammation
  • Hardening of skin
  • Itching or burning in the affected skin
  • Bleeding from skin lesions


If the patches become painful, skin ointments along with cryo-therapy are recommended to get rid of the lesions. The lesions can also be removed with help of curette that scraps them off the skin. Excision of skin lesions associated with actinic keratosis is another treatment method that may or may not include stitches with respect to the size of lesions.

The condition can be prevented by having regular checks about the development of abnormal skin growth in sun-exposed areas, avoiding direct exposure of body parts to sun, covering the exposed parts of the skin and use of proper sunscreen.