Actinic Keratosis

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Also known as solar keratosis, actinic keratosis affects more than 10 million Americans. These precancerous growths on the skin are caused by overexposure to the sun over a long period of time. They are characterized by rough dry lesions or patches that appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, back of hands, arms, scalp or shoulders. The lesions may be red, pink, gray or skin colored. Lesions often begin as flat, scaly areas and develop into a rough-textured surface. Sometimes it is easier to feel a growth than it is to see it.

Actinic keratosis is more common among fair-skinned people and those who have had years of outdoor or tanning bed exposure to ultraviolet light. Actinic keratosis can develop into malignant cells, typically squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer. That's why treatment isimportant. After a physical examination and biopsy of the lesion, your dermatologist will opt for one of the following treatments to remove the growth:

  • Cryosurgery, which freezes off the growth using liquid nitrogen.
  • Surgical removal in which the doctor scrapes off the lesion and bleeding is stopped by electrocautery.
  • Chemical peels that cause the top layer of skin to peel off.
  • Photodynamic therapy in which a dye is applied that sensitizes the skin to light and the area is then exposed to light via a laser or other light source.
  • Topical Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) that cause a slow inflammation and peeling; used in more superficial cases.
  • Topical Chemotherapeutic agents (5 Fluorouracil, Aldara) can also be used.

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For excellent dermatological care in an environment that supports attentiveness to each patient's health care concerns, contact Dr. Peter Halperin today.

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Patients seen Monday thru Friday.
Late hours on Thursday.

Phone: 212-759-7447
Fax: 212-759-7417

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115 East 61st St, Suite 2E
New York, NY 10065
The entrance is between Park and Lexington
(closer to Park)

By Subway:

There are two close subway stops:

59th Street -Lexington Ave Station
Lines: 4 5 6 N R W

63rd Street - Lexington Ave Station
Lines: F Q N

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Conveniently located 1 block from the office at 150 East 61st Street.