Actinic keratosis (AK) is a rough, scaly, crusty, and/or discolored patch that grows on the skin. AKs are caused by long-term exposure to UV radiation.
Also known as solar keratosis, these small lesions/growths typically emerge on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun. Some AKs become elevated and rough, taking on a wart-like texture and appearance. They grow very slowly, often taking years to develop, and do not cause any symptoms other than the formation of a small, rough lesion. The lesion is typically red, but may also present as pink, beige, or flesh-colored.
Common areas where AKs may develop:
- back of hands