Home | Drugs | Skin Disorders | Home Remedies | Diabetes | Health Blog

Actinic Keratosis - Symptoms and Treatment

Actinic keratosis is a premalignant condition of thick, scaly, or crusty patches of skin. The cause is frequent or intense exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, typically from the sun. Many doctors consider actinic keratosis to be precancerous because it can develop into skin cancer. Actinic keratoses generally measure in size between 2 to 6 millimeters in diameter (between the size of a pencil point to that of an eraser). Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, grow slowly and usually cause no signs or symptoms other than patches or small spots on your skin. The biggest concern with actinic keratosis is their potential for turning into squamous cell skin cancer. These lesions take years to develop, usually first appearing in older adults. Left untreated, about 2 percent to 5 percent of actinic keratoses develop into a serious form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

Actinic keratosis, also called solar or senile keratosis, is a precancerous skin condition that develops in sun-exposed skin, especially on the face, hands, forearms, and the neck. It is seen most often in pale-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyed people, beginning at age 30 or 40 and becoming more common with age. The base may be light or dark, tan, pink, red, a combination of these, or the same color as the skin. The scale or crust is dry, and rough, and is often recognized by touch rather than sight. Occasionally,growth of lesions may resemble an animal horn and is called a "cutaneous horn." Mostly fair-skinned people who frequently exposed to the sun are more prone to this disease as their pigment isn't very protective. The disease may be the first step in the development of skin cancer and is generally considered as precancerous condition of the skin. The presence of this disease strongly indicates that any kind of cancer can develop. The actinic keratosis, is generally known by several names such as sun spot, senile warts solar keratoses etc.

Causes of Actinic Keratosis

Common Causes of Actinic Keratosis :-

  • Extensive exposure to specific industrial chemicals such as arsenic may also cause actinic keratosis .
  • The disease may be caused by extensive exposure to x-rays.
  • Actinic keratosis can also emerge from exposure to cancer-causing substances (carcinogenic substances) such as arsenic, X-ray radiation.
  • Mostly seen in pale-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyed people due to their sensitivity to the sunlight.
  • Genetics and cumulative sun exposure are the main cause of the disease. Years of sun exposure cause skin cells to change in size, shape, and the way they are organized resulting in the disease.
  • Age, is also the main cause of it. Peoples, who are older than 45 are easily affected by it.
  • Fair skin in combination with red hairs, is the main cause of actinic keratosis.

Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis

Some common Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis :-

  • The bleeding may occur in chronic conditions.
  • Rough and dry textured skin lesion.
  • Skin lesion may be rough and dry textured.
  • You may have the feeling of itch, burn, or sting.
  • Patches or small spots on the skin.
  • The affected skin area get dry due to the loss of pigmentations.
  • Red and irritated skin may be present around the patches.
  • Flat to slightly raised, scaly patches on the top layer of your skin are common during actinic keratosis.

Treatment of Actinic Keratosis

  • 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) cream.
  • Some medicated creams and solutions are useful in removing actinic keratosis, when the lesions are numerous.
  • The treatment with CO2 laser, is suitable in destroying unwanted growth of skin.
  • Treatment is done by freezing the affected tissue with liquid nitrogen with a special spray device or with cotton piece.
  • The imiquimod cream , may be used for multiple keratoses. It causes cells to produce interferon, a chemical that destroys cancerous and precancerous cells.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) can also be used to treat multiple actinic keratoses. In this treatment, topical 5-aminolevulinic acid accumulates preferentially in the dysplastic cells. Patients experience pain in the areas treated.
  • Retin-A ( Renova ), alpha hydroxyacid lotion and beta hydroxyacid .
  • Lasers, chemical peels,chemotherapy creams and dermabrasion.








Home | Drugs | Contact Us | Skin Disorders | Home Remedies | Diabetes | Health Blog
Copyright © HealthAtoZ.info All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer : All information on www.healthatoz.info is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.