Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are common skin growths. In fact, these growths are so common that treatment for AKs is one of the most frequent reasons that people see a dermatologist. AKs are also called “solar keratoses” because they are caused by years of sun exposure

AKs are considered precancerous. Left untreated, AKs may turn into squamous cell carcinoma. Like skin cancer, AKs develop when ultraviolet (UV) light damages cells in the skin. Cells damaged by UV light from the sun or indoor tanning cause the skin to become rough and scaly. If the cells continue to change, AKs can progress to skin cancer.