Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Solar Keratosis Home Care

Home care for actinic keratosis includes:

  • Wear clothing that blocks the sun's rays.
  • Use sunscreen if you are out in the sun for more than 30 minutes.
  • Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA.
  • Stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
  • Perform regular skin self-examinations
    • Skin areas that are often exposed to the sun are at highest risk for skin cancer.
    • See your doctor for changes in color, size, or overall appearance of skin lesions.
    • See your doctor for new or unusual skin lesions.
  • Learn the American Cancer Society's ABCD rules for skin lesions:
    • A: asymmetry: one-half of the mole does not match the other half.
    • B: border irregularity: the edges of the mole are ragged or notched.
    • C: color: the color of the mole is not the same all over. There may be shades of tan, brown, or black, and sometimes patches of red, blue, or white.
    • D: diameter: the mole is wider than about 1/4 inch

Solar Keratosis Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have actinic keratosis and any of the following:

Continue to Solar Keratosis Prevention

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Solar Keratosis References
  1. Del Rosso JQ. New and emerging topical approaches for actinic keratoses. Cutis. 2003 Oct;72(4):273-6, 279. [14604078]
  2. Jorizzo JL, Carney PS, Ko WT, Robins P, Weinkle SH, Werschler WP. Treatment options in the management of actinic keratosis. Cutis. 2004 Dec;74(6 Suppl):9-17. [15666897]
  3. Spencer JM, Hazan C, Hsiung SH, Robins P. Therapeutic decision making in the therapy of actinic keratoses. J Drugs Dermatol. 2005 May-Jun;4(3):296-301. [15898284]
  4. Yu TC, Rahman Z, Ross BS. Actinic keratoses--surgical and physical therapeutic modalities. Cutis. 2003 May;71(5):381-4. [12769405]
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