Actinic Keratosis

Keratosis is keratin growth on the skin or mucous membranes stemming from keratinocytes, the prominent cell type in the epidermis. Seborrheic keratosis is a common non-cancerous skin growth. People tend to get more of them when they get older. The growths look waxy, scaly and slightly raised, usually brown black or light tan colour.

Removing Actinic Keratosis

It is not clear what causes this. It may be genetic, and of course, normal skin ageing plays a role, as is over-exposure to the sun. It may be worth removing if it is hard to distinguish from skin cancer or the patient doesn’t like it, and is self-conscious, mainly if it is in a prominent place or it might cause problems like itching or irritation with clothing or jewellery rubbing against it.

There are several ways of removing seborrheic keratosis.

Cryosurgery is one of the treatments where the lesion is frozen by a liquid nitrogen spray and then falls off after a few days. Ablation with laser or electrosurgery, or electrocautery may be performed, where the growth is cauterised under local anaesthetic. As well it could be curettage, and some patients may require one or the other or both.



Actinic keratosis also known as solar keratosis looks like rough or crusty patches of skin. They may be red, light or dark tan and have rough textures that develop from years of exposure to the sun. It is most commonly found on the face, lips, ears, back of hands, forearms, scalp or the neck.

It enlarges slowly and usually causes no signs or symptoms, and these patches can take years to develop, usually first appearing in people over 40.

Actinic keratosis can lead to skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma however, if treated early, almost all actinic keratosis can be cleared up or removed before they develop into skin cancer.
Different types of surgeries can be performed to treat squamous cell skin cancers.

Excision: cutting out the tumour along with a small margin of normal skin or electrodesiccation and curettage however, this procedure is not recommended for larger tumours.

Mohs surgery is suitable for squamous cell cancers with a higher risk of returning, such as tumours larger than 2 cm. Mohs surgery might also be performed after an excision if it didn’t remove all cancer.

This approach is typically more complex and time-consuming than other types of surgery. Otherwise, cryosurgery or laser surgery may be performed.

Radiation could also be used to treat cancers that have come back after surgery, but is not recommended.


Your consultation for plastic surgery with Mr Ferrando is an important step in the process of considering and undergoing cosmetic or reconstructive procedures.

This initial meeting allows the patient and surgeon to discuss goals, expectations, and potential outcomes, as well as evaluate the patient’s eligibility for the desired procedure. It will be an opportunity to ask questions or clarify any concerns that you may have. You will look at the “before and after” images of previous patients and get further information you need to make a decision.

Mr Ferrando will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam. He will then discuss all options suitable for you and explain each stage of the procedure or treatment. The exact procedure depends on the anatomy of the patient.

Our team believes that a well-informed, comfortable patient is one of the most important elements of the process. Whether you move forward with surgery or simply learn more, Dr Ferrando is looking forward to meeting you!

Risks and Side Effects

All surgeries carry certain risks and even though they are rare you should be aware of them before making your decision. Mr Ferrando will talk you through any possible risks and side effects at his consultations as they will vary depending on the patient’s anatomy, age, physical condition and lifestyle.

During his procedures and treatments, he does everything possible to minimise the risk of complications by practicing a meticulously detailed approach and applying his world-class training background.

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This initial contact allows the patient and surgeon to discuss goals, expectations, and potential outcomes, as well as evaluate the patient’s eligibility for the desired procedure.

It will be an opportunity to ask questions or clarify any concerns that you may have and get further information you need to make a decision.

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