Actinic & Seborrheic Keratosis & Treatments

Keratosis is a skin condition caused by excessive keratin on skin. Our hair and nails are mostly composed of keratin. The skin is endangered if keratin is produced in excessive amounts. Different types of keratoses have different characteristics and corresponding treatment.

Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratosis also goes by the name solar keratosis and senile keratosis. It is a disease commonly related to aging people and to the sun, that’s why it is called by those names. Actinic Keratosis is a premalignant skin condition and these precancerous skin lesions sometimes lead to squamous cell carcinoma. It is commonly characterized by being thick, crusty and wart like bumps, occurring on sun exposed areas of the skin. Actinic keratosis must be removed at once to prevent it to developing into cancer.

Actinic Keratosis Treatments
There are many treatments for skin that have actinic keratosis. One can select for non surgical or surgical treatments. Surgical treatments include cryotherapy (use of liquid nitrogen in freezing off), electrocautery (uses electricity in burning off) and laser (Er-YAG lasers). These kinds of surgery are recommended for severe cases. Non surgical treatments entail the application of creams.

Aldara and Beselna are common imiquimod creams. It’s under the immune response modifier kind of drugs. However, the cream requires a prescription, and also the commitment and endurance on the part of the patient. The skin could look unsightly during treatments and major discomforts could be experienced. But after all the things you need to tolerate, you’ll be satisfied with the result.

5-flourouracil is the standard name for drugs such as Efudex. The drug is a topical cream also utilized for chemotherapy. It is also a topical cream, applied on the skin by the patient. Side effects include inflammation, itchiness, and pain on the area where the cream is applied. Discoloration of skin and scarring are the other side effects of using Efudex. It could be noted that these things are only experienced while being treated. Before using the drug, your doctor must know if you are taking any other treatments. Pregnant and lactating women are not advised to take Efudex. Precautions in using Efudex also include avoidance of sun exposure, and use of sunscreen with SPF 15 and above. Ask your doctor first before getting a treatment to be safe.

Seborrheic Keratosis
Seborrheic keratosis is a waxy, oily form of actinic keratosis. It is also not as dangerous as AK since it is noncancerous. This kind of keratosis originates from keratinocytes and also involves the uppermost layers of the epidermis. They also resemble warts because of its pasted on appearance and sometimes associated with old age, thus it is also referred to as the barnacles of old age. Its cause is still uncertain.

Seborrheic Keratosis Treatments
Treatments for seborrheic keratosis consist of cryosurgery and electrocautery. In bigger cases, electrodessication (drying the SK up using electricity) and curettage could be employed.  With surgical excision, a scalpel is used in place of a curette.

If you already have these skin diseases healed, then take care of it. You won’t want them to come back, do you?

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