AK or Actinic Keratosis is an early sign of skin cancer. Actinic Keratosis is the product of prolonged sun exposure throughout time. AK is not the result of a single case of bad sunburn; rather, it is produced by cumulative sun exposure. While everyone is at risk of contracting Actinic Keratosis, people who spend large amounts of time outdoors face higher chances of contraction. The same is the case for persons with fair complexions, poor immune systems and the elderly.
It is lucky that most people are able to treat their Actinic Keratosis before it transforms into far more dangerous squamous cell carinomas- a high risk form of skin cancer. In most instances, treatment of AK prior to this transformation is an effective means of preventing further health problems. Unfortunately, the transformation process of AK to squamous cell carcinoma is not entirely known. As a result, medical professionals recommend any individual experiencing AK to treat the condition as soon as possible.
The risk of Actinic Keratosis can be reduced much in the same way as is the risk of skin cancer. The frequent application of sunscreen, the use of shade, hats and protective clothing are all important concerns in this regard. Most importantly, it is important for people to be aware that AK is not the same as sunburn. The issue can take a long time develop, and may not leave immediately obvious marks on the skin. Only by engaging in a thorough skin care regime can this risk be dealt with safely and effectively.