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Therapeutic decision making in the therapy of actinic keratoses.

Actinic keratoses (AKs) represent the second most common reason to visit a dermatologist in the United States and their therapy has become a major portion of most dermatologists' practice. An ever-increasing array of therapeutic options exist for the therapy of actinic keratoses, offering physicians and patients a greater number of choices than ever before. Patient expectations and needs seem to be changing at the same time, thus effecting therapeutic decision-making. While destructive therapies with resultant wounds, time for wound healing, and possible hypopigmentation or scarring were acceptable in the past, many patients from the baby-boom generation are now developing AKs and have little tolerance for any time for wound healing or any cosmetic changes. This paper will raise some fundamental questions regarding AKs and their management.

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