Actinic Keratosis - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 21 September 2015 - 9:37 am IST
Actinic Keratosis : Basic Overview
Actinic Keratosis is a condition which leads to the formation of rough and scaly patches all over the skin. According to
, overexposure to the sun is one of the major causes for the occurrence of Actinic Keratosis. This condition affects mostly the face, lips, ears, back of the hands, forearms, scalp as well as the neck.
Actinic Keratosis is also known as Solar Keratosis. This condition often enlarges slowly and causes no signs or symptoms apart from the formation of patches or spots over the skin. These lesions can often take years to develop. Older adults are more prone towards developing this condition as compared to their counterparts.
In some of the rarer cases, Actinic Keratosis can eventually go on to form Skin Cancer. Minimizing the exposure to the sun and protecting the skin from the UV rays are the major ways to reduce your chances of contracting Actinic Keratosis.
Causes and Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis:
Actinic Keratosis is caused due to an intense exposure to the Ultraviolent Radiations of the sun. Often, people who are overexposed to tanning beds are also prone to suffer from Actinic Keratosis.
Some of the major signs and symptoms of Actinic Keratosis is as follows:
- Rough, dry and scaly patches all over the skin
- Patches ranging 1 inch in diameter
- Flat or slightly raised patches or bumps on the skin
- Hard and wart like surface of the skin
- Varied colour of the skin – pink, red, brown or flesh colours
- Itching or burning in the affected areas
This condition is basically found in the areas which are most affected by the sun. Since it is very difficult to distinguish between cancerous and non cancerous spots, it is recommended to seek medical attention if your spots or lesions persist or seem to grow.
Tests and Diagnosis of Actinic Keratosis:
are able to diagnose Actinic Keratosis by simply taking a look at the spots or the lesions. In case of any doubts, the
Skin Specialist doctor
can ask for other tests such as skin biopsy for the same. During a skin biopsy, the doctor takes a small sample of the skin and sends it to the laboratory for testing. A Biopsy can be done with a numbing injection.
Treatment and Drugs for Actinic Keratosis:
Usually, Actinic Keratosis tends to resolve on its own. However, due to excessive sun exposure, lesions and spots can develop over the skin. Several medications are available for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis. Medications such as Fluororacil Cream, Imiquimod Cream, Ingenol Mebutate gel and Diclofenac Gel is used for the treatment of spots and lesions associated with Actinic Keratosis.
Therapy such as Photodynamic Therapy is used in order to make the damaged skin cells sensitive to the light. This is applied to the affected skin and destroys the damaged skin cells. The side effects of these medications include redness, swelling and burning sensation over the skin.
Cryotherapy is a procedure in which Liquid Nitrogen is applied to the skin lesions. The gas freezes the surface of the skin, causing blisters and peeling. This is one of the most common treatment options.
Curettage is a procedure in which the surgeon uses a device known as a curet in order to scrape off and remove the damaged cells. The scraping off the cells is followed by electro surgery in order to remove the damaged tissues with the help of an electric current. Side effects of this procedure may include infection and scarring.
All the above medications should be strictly taken under the supervision of, and as prescribed by the Skin Specialist doctor. You can seek an opinion of the most knowledgeable skin specialists in pune district.
Here refadoc presenting list of