Forgot Password?
Return to Course Listing

CME: Spotlight on actinic keratosis: updates in practice and treatment optimization

Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a disorder characterized by precancerous epidermal lesions caused by cumulative sun exposure that may progress to squamous cell carcinoma. It is one of the most common dermatologic diagnosis in U.S. patients, and its prevalence is increasing, with three in ten Medicare patients having a AK-related healthcare visit. AK develops due to excessive radiation exposure from the sun inducing pathologic changes in the epidermal keratinocyte through the disruption of regulatory pathways involved in cell growth and differentiation. Inflammation and immunosuppression lead to the intraepidermal generation of abnormal keratinocytes, which give rise to AKs. Generally, AKs are asymptomatic but some patients may experience local tenderness in addition to the multitude of clinical variants seen upon presentation. The average risk for malignant transformation is 8% in immunocompetent patients, with a range from 0.025% to 16%. However, while the risk of malignant transformation is relatively low, the majority of squamous cell carcinomas stem from AKs.

Target Audience:

HCPs including: dermatologists and primary care providers; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in the aforementioned areas of specialty; and any other healthcare professionals with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with AK.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Sun Pharmaceutical. 

This activity is free of charge.

Release Date: April 28, 2024 -- Expiration Date: April 28, 2026

Faculty: Cindy Wassef, MD


Faculty introduction, disclosures

Review of AK

  • Causes and risk factors
  • Clinical manifestations
  • Best practices in diagnosis and related principles and technologies

Management of AK 

  • Preventive strategies
  • Treatment approaches

o Single vs. multiple lesions; hypertrophic vs. flat lesions; site(s) of AK

o Circumstances prompting biopsy

  • The literature-supported role of treatment options – roles and relative efficacy of field-directed therapies

o Imiquimod

o Fluorouracil

o Aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy

o Tirbanibulin

o Topical diclofenac

  • Challenges to successful AK treatment and strategies for addressing them
  • Patient case(s)

Best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Identify current and emerging treatment options and their place in therapy for the management of AK.
  • Summarize challenges to the optimal treatment of AK and strategies for overcoming them.
  • Formulate a treatment plan for a patient with AK.


ACCME Activity #202783944

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through ScientiaCME. ScientiaCME is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation: ScientiaCME designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


ABIM MOC Recognition Statement: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.0 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

ABIM MOC Credit Type: Medical Knowledge

Physicians: For maintenance of certification (MOC) points, you must enter your board certification ID # and birth date correctly.  It is the learner's responsibility to provide this information completely and accurately at the completion of the activity. Without providing it, the learner will NOT receive MOC points for this activity. By providing this data, you acknowledge that it will be shared with ACCME and the applicable certifying board. Please note: Not all activities on this site provide MOC points. If this activity does not specify that it provides MOC points in this section, then it does NOT provide MOC points. This activity provides MOC points only for ABIM.


ScientiaCME is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is approved for 1.0 contact hours  of continuing pharmacy education credit. Proof of participation will be posted to your NABP CPE profile within 4 to 6 weeks to participants who have successfully completed the post-test. Participants must participate in the entire presentation and complete the course evaluation to receive continuing pharmacy education credit. ACPE #0574-0000-24-009-H01-P. This is an Application (A)-type activity. 

PharmacistsYou must enter your NABP # and birth date correctly so that proof of participation can be posted to your NABP CPE profile. It is the learner's responsibility to provide this information completely and accurately at the completion of the activity. Without providing it, the learner will NOT receive CPE credit for this activity.

Nurses: The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. This activity is designated for up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Physician Assistants: The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ assigned by organizations accredited by the ACCME as satisfying Category 1 CME for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) national certification maintenance. This activity is designated for up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Nurse Practitioners: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) states that continuing education providers accredited by the ACCME may provide acceptable, accredited Advanced Practice Provider content. This activity is designated for up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review by ScientiaCME.

Disclosures of Faculty: Cindy Wassef, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has no relevant financial disclosures. 

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, President of ScientiaCME, has no relevant financial disclosures. 

Faculty WILL NOT discuss off-label uses of a commercial product. 

All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated. 

ScientiaCME adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity, including faculty, planners, reviewers or others are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Sun Pharmaceutical. 


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

Additional Courses That Are Related To This Activity

Recognition and management of epidermolysis bullosa: what the clinician needs to know

Present and novel approaches in the medical management of generalized pustular psoriasis: balancing out the therapeutic landscape

Melanoma - updates from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2023

How implicit bias and culture competence shape the patient healthcare experience