Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, are red scaly spots that occur on sun-exposed skin. The backs of the hands, ears, nose, cheeks, temples, upper lips, and scalp are commonly affected. If left untreated, there is a small risk that these spots can undergo malignant transformation (see non-melanoma skin cancer).
Dermatologists commonly treat actinic keratoses with cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen). However, depending on the extent of sun damage, field treatment with topical immune response modifiers or photodynamic therapy may be the preferred method of treatment.