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Actinic keratosis - close-up

Actinic keratosis - close-up

Overview

Actinic keratosis is associated with cumulative skin damage, caused by repeated exposure to the ultraviolet light found in sunshine. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and produces lesions similar to the ones in this photograph. The lesions may later become cancerous (pre-cancerous).

Review Date 8/20/2016

Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.