Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care doctor. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred directly to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).

What you can do

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your appointment. For actinic keratoses, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
  • What are my treatment options and the pros and cons of each?
  • What will the treatments cost? Does medical insurance cover these costs?
  • What suspicious changes in my skin should I look for?
  • What kind of follow-up should I expect?

What to expect from your doctor

Questions your doctor may ask you include:

  • When did you first notice the lesions?
  • Have you noticed multiple lesions?
  • Have you noticed any changes in the appearance of the lesions?
  • Is the condition bothersome?
  • Have you experienced frequent or severe sunburns?
  • How often are you exposed to sun or UV radiation?
  • Do you regularly protect your skin from UV radiation?
Nov. 09, 2016
References
  1. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Epithelial precancerous lesions. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  2. Padilla RS. Epidemiology, natural history and diagnosis of actinic keratosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  3. Wolff K, et al. Photosensitivity, photo-induced disorders and disorders by ionizing radiation. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 19, 2015.
  4. Actinic keratosis. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/a---d/actinic-keratosis. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  5. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 21, 2016.
  6. Jorizzo J. Treatment of actinic keratosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  7. FDA sheds light on sunscreens. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  8. AskMayoExpert. Actinic keratosis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  9. Habif TP. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Maryland Heights, Mo.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 19, 2015.
  10. Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs. Accessed Sept. 26, 2016.
  11. Lebwohl M. Actinic keratosis. JAMA. 2016;315:1394.