Actinic Keratosis

Skin | Dermatology | Actinic Keratosis (Disease)


Actinic keratosis is a rough, raised patch on the skin that develops from a long period of exposure to the sun. Its most commonly found on the face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck — areas of skin typically exposed to the sun.

Actinic keratoses may sometimes develop into a type of skin cancer.

Causes and Risk factors

Chronic sun exposure is the cause of almost all actinic keratoses. Sun damage to the skin is cumulative, so even a brief period in the sun adds to the lifetime total.

The ultraviolet radiation given off by the lamps in a tanning salon can be even more dangerous than the sun, so dermatologists warn against indoor tanning.

People with fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair, persons who had a transplant or take medicines that affect the immune system are more likely to develop actinic keratosis. Spending a lot of time in the sun or having had many, severe sunburns early in life

Occasionally, actinic keratoses may be caused by extensive exposure to X-rays or a number of industrial chemicals.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Some actinic keratoses becomes squamous cell skin cancer. Thats why all skin growths should be looked at by a doctor as soon as they appear.

Growths may be removed by electrical cautery, scraping away the lesion and using electricity to kill any remaining cells, cutting the tumor out and using stitches to place the skin back together, freezing,

If a person has a big number of patches on the skin, a laser treatment, chemical peels or skin creams such are recommended. ...

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