Actinic Keratosis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment


What is Actinic keratosis

is a scaly, rough patch on the skin which develop from excessive sun exposure. Most commonly, it is found on the lips, ears, face, back of the hands, neck, scalp or forearms. Solar keratosis, is another common name for actinic keratosis. It expands gradually whilst causing no prominent symtoms or signs other than a small spot or patch on the skin. Such lesions tend to take few years in order to develop, mostly appearing first in the older adults. The risk to develop actinic keratosis can be reduced by minimizing the sun exposure whilst skin protection against ultraviolet rays. A very small percentage of the AK lesions tend to turn skin cancer eventually.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of the condition include:

  •  Burning or itching in your affected area.
  •  Scaly, dry or rough patch on the skin, mostly less than an inch in diameter.
  •  In few cases, a wart-like, hard surface.
  •  Slightly raise to flat bump or patch on your skin’s top layer.
  •  Varied color as brown, red, pink or of the color of the flesh.
    In addition to this, actinic keratoses, is primarily found on the areas which are directly exposed to sun. Such as ears, face, lips, back of the forearms, neck, hands and scalp.

When is the high time to consult a doctor?

Since it quite hard differentiating cancerous and noncancerous spots, its good to have evaluated the new changes in the skin by the doctor, particularly when a lesion or spot grows, bleeds or persists.

What is the possible cause to develop Actinic Keratosis?

It is mainly caused due to intense or frequent UV rays exposure, from the tanning beds or the sun.

What are the risk factors?

While actinic keratoses can be developed by anyone, however one is more expected to develop if:

  •  The person is over 40 years old.
  •  His immune system is weak due to AIDS, organ transplant, chronic leukemia medications.
  •  Have the history of intense or frequent sun exposure/sunburn.
  •  Tend to burn or freckle when sun exposed.
  •  Have blond or red hair, pale skin and light or blue colored eyes.
  •  Have the history (personal) of skin cancer or actinic keratosis.

What are the complications?

If the condition is treated early, then almost every actinitic keratoses tend to get eliminated prior developing in form of skin cancer. But, if it is left untreated, few of such patches or spots can develop a cancer type known as squamous cell carcinoma that is not mostly life threatening if it is diagnose and treated at its earlier stage.

Actinic Keratosis Diagnosis

Thorough examination of the skin can help your doctor diagnose the condition, however, in case of doubt, the doctor can suggest certain tests for example skin biopsy.

Actinic Keratosis Treatment

Sometimes, the condition tends to resolve itself. However normally return back after excessive sun exposure. Certain treatments for actinic keratosis are:

  •  Medications.
  •  Therapy.
  •  Surgical plus other procedures (cryotherapy and curettage)

By : Natural Health News

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