Published online May 2, 2016. doi: 10.5314/wjd.v5.i2.115
Peer-review started: October 3, 2015
First decision: December 28, 2015
Revised: February 25, 2016
Accepted: March 14, 2016
Article in press: March 16, 2016
Published online: May 2, 2016
Core tip: While actinic keratoses (AKs) have been considered precancerous until recently for being able to turn into squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), it is now agreed that it would be more appropriate to call them cancerous. The presence of two or more AKs on a photodamaged skin is an indicator of field cancerization and represents an increased risk of invasive SCC. All lesions should be treated since it cannot be foreseen which of the lesions will regress and which will progress to SCC. In this review, epidemiology, ethiopathogenesis, diagnostic approach and treatment options for AK and field cancerization have been evaluated in light of recent literature.