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Actinic keratosis (AK) is the most common precancerous skin condition that forms on skin damaged by chronic exposure to the sun and/or indoor tanning. About 58 million people in the US have AK. Because AK can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, lesions are usually removed. This is often done by freezing them with liquid nitrogen or by applying a topical prescription cream (eg, fluorouracil or imiquimod) for a prolonged period.

The FDA has approved tirbanibulin (Klisyri®) ointment, a first-in-class microtubule inhibitor, for the topical treatment of AK on the face or scalp. Its advantage over other topical treatments for AK is a short treatment duration – once daily application for 5 days. Local skin reactions are common and include redness, burning, itching, flaking/scaling, crusting, and swelling.

Tirbanibulin is expected to be available during the first few months this year.


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