Keratosis is a skin condition in which keratin grows on the skin. There are various kinds of keratosis including actinic keratosis which is mainly caused by excessive exposure to the ultraviolet light. It is characterized by thick or scaly patches or bumps on the skin. The affected part of the body is usually rough and dry. Thus they completely temper with the beauty and smoothness of one’s skin. Actinic keratosis are popular in fair skinned people that frequently expose their skin to the sun. A person who notices symptoms of keratosis should seek treatment as soon as possible because actinic keratosis are known to cause squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
If a light skinned person frequently exposes his/her skin, he/she risks developing solar keratosis. The sunlight induces growth of keratin on the skin, which starts as a flat scaly patch. As the individual continues exposing the skin, the flat scaly part then graduates into a thick, dry and tough bump on the skin. It is normally wise to minimize over exposure to the sun at this point and seek the counsel of a professional dermatologist. A dermatologist will not only help you deal with such keratosis but also give or recommend suitable treatment for this condition.
These solar keratosis are usually about 4 millimeters in size and vary in color. Their color ranges from red, dark, pink or tan. They are common in body parts that can easily be exposed to the sun such as lips, face, neck, ears, chest, scalp, back of hands or arms. There are different types of actinic keratosis namely:
- Pigmented actinic keratosis
- Lichenoid actinic keratosis
- Hyperkeratotic actinic keratosis
- Atrophic actinic keratosis.
It is easier to strive to prevent solar keratosis than cure them and their preventive measures are similar to those of skin cancer. Ensure that you avoid exposing your skin to the sun excessively and if circumstances force you to stay longer in the sun, protect exposed parts of the body using sunscreen and other sun protective clothing such as trousers, hats, long sleeved shirts, long skirts and so on. Most importantly, avoiding exposure of your skin to the sun during noon hours could help prevent actinic keratosis; the intensity of ultraviolet light is high during this time. One can treat actinic keratosis using cryosurgery, diclofenac sodium 3% gel, photodynamic therapy, Laser, chemotherapy, Immune response modifier or electrocautery.
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