New Strategies in the Prevention of Actinic Keratosis: A Critical Review

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2015;28(6):281-9. doi: 10.1159/000437272. Epub 2015 Aug 22.


Actinic keratosis (AK) or lesions of epidermal dysplasia occurring in skin chronically exposed to solar radiation is very prevalent in lighter skin persons, with chronic long-term sun exposure being the major risk factor. With an aging population it is expected that the prevalence of AK will further increase. AK can progress to nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and is a public health concern. Six leading dermatologists with expertise in AK and NMSC from Germany met to discuss the nature of the disease and the prevention and treatment strategies available to dermatologists today. While cosmetic sunscreen products form an essential element of sun protection strategies, they are not adequate when damage has already been inflicted. Newly developed products of the medical device category offer DNA repair function paired with high sun protection factor (SPF) UV protection. An adjuvant treatment algorithm for various risk levels of AK was developed. For patients with low and moderate risk, sunscreen only is recommended. For patient groups with high and very high risk, a very high photoprotection and photorepair action (DNA repair enzymes) in medical device products all year round is recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Humans
  • Keratosis, Actinic / genetics
  • Keratosis, Actinic / prevention & control*
  • Keratosis, Actinic / therapy
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use


  • Sunscreening Agents