These guidelines stemmed from a consensus meeting held by the British Photobiology Group (BPG) in 1999. Following this meeting one of the authors (J.M.M.) was invited to draw up guidelines for the management of actinic keratoses by the British Association of Dermatologists Therapy Guidelines and Audit Subcommittee. Relevant evidence was sought using the search terms ‘solar keratosis’ and ‘actinic keratosis’ in Medline from 1966 onwards. Additional and earlier literature was reviewed on the basis of references within post-1966 publications. All articles of apparent relevance were reviewed independently of the nature of the publication. The quality of the evidence elicited has been indicated. The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (U.S.A.) was used for further data on topical chemotherapy. Papers were reviewed and discussed by the contributors to the BPG Workshop (see Acknowledgments). Recommendations are evidence based where possible. Strength of recommendation is coupled with quality of evidence. Strength of recommendation includes consideration of apparent cost-benefit and practical considerations. Quality of evidence reflects the nature of the trial structure that provides data of efficacy.