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Actinic keratosis on the forearms

Actinic keratosis on the forearms

Overview

Cumulative skin damage is caused by repeated exposure to the ultraviolet light found in sunshine. Areas with high exposure such as the forearms, face, back of the neck, and scalp (bald individuals) are common sites. Over the years, the genetic material of cells becomes irreparably damaged and may produce lesions like these on the forearms. The lesions, called actinic keratosis, may later become 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.