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 11/10/2020
Updated by: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.