Actinic Keratosis

Also known as solar keratosis, actinic keratosis affects more than 10 million Americans. These precancerous growths on the skin are caused by overexposure to the sun over a long period of time. They are characterized by rough dry lesions or patches that appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, back of hands, arms, scalp or shoulders. The lesions may be red, pink, gray or skin colored. Lesions often begin as flat, scaly areas and develop into a rough-textured surface. Sometimes it is easier to feel a growth than it is to see it.

Actinic keratosis is more common among fair-skinned people and those who have had years of outdoor or tanning bed exposure to ultraviolet light. Actinic keratosis can develop into malignant cells, typically squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer. That's why treatment isimportant. After a physical examination and biopsy of the lesion, your dermatologist will opt for one of the following treatments to remove the growth:

  • Cryosurgery, which freezes off the growth using liquid nitrogen.
  • Surgical removal in which the doctor scrapes off the lesion and bleeding is stopped by electrocautery.
  • Chemical peels that cause the top layer of skin to peel off.
  • Photodynamic therapy in which a dye is applied that sensitizes the skin to light and the area is then exposed to light via a laser or other light source.
  • Topical Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) that cause a slow inflammation and peeling; used in more superficial cases.
  • Topical Chemotherapeutic agents (5 Fluorouracil, Aldara) can also be used.

Our Location

Find us on the map

Office hours

Our regular schedule

Monday:

8:30 am-4:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-4:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-4:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-4:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Now that I am back home I have to express by appreciation to you and your office. Thanks for the courtesies and of course the “Best” medical attention."
    L.L., Rancho Mirage
  • "Just a short note to say thank you for all you have done for me over the past few months. I knew I was in good hands the first time I met you. I do appreciate the outstanding professionalism demonstrated by all staff on board. You all make up a great group of people, all of whom I´m proud to call friends."
    D.L., Rancho Mirage
  • "I cannot thank you and your wonderful staff associates enough for the superb care you all gave me this year. These were trying times for me and every one in your office pitched in to make my surgical recoveries easier on me. One seldom sees such caring in these times."
    A.H., Palm Desert
  • "I want to thank you not only for making my nose cancer free, but also for working so diligently to make my nose look great! I greatly appreciate the work you do and how conscientiously you made every effort to enhance my health and appearance."
    T. L., Rancho Mirage
  • "Thank you to each of you for your kind and caring attitude throughout my visits to your office. Dr. Richardson, you are a wonderful example of how a doctor´s office should and is being run!"
    E. L., Rancho Mirage