Keratin is a fibrous protein. It is the basic material that makes up the outer layer of human skin. It is also the key structural component of hair ,nails and teeth . It is strong and unique member of protein family.
This component is very important part of our body, but some times it can be a major cause of certain skin problems. One of the most common and major skin problem caused by keratin is keratosis. Keratosis occurs on skin as a result of uneven growth of keratin. It results when the keratin in the skin grows in form of clusters instead of growing uniformly. Keratosis is more common in fair skinned people than dark toned people. Although, usually keratosis isn’t very harmful but excess occurrence reflects some serious dangers such as cancer. keratosis is classified in various forms such as
- Actinic keratosis
- Hydrocarbon keratosis
- Keratosis pilaris
Actinic keratosis is also generally referred as solar keratosis. In this type of keratosis, the skin looks dry , patchy ,rough and red. It causes the formation of reddish -brown spots or patches on skin. It is called solar keratosis , because excess sun exposure is one of the reasons of its occurrence. Although it is more common in fair skinned people still dark skinned people can also be affected by this type of keratosis, if they are excessively exposed to sun. It is most advisable to consult a dermatologist in order to treat actinic keratosis. Cryosurgery , photodynamic therapy, electrocautery and laser are some of the common treatments available. Apart from this less exposure to sun is necessary in order to avoid re-occurrence.
Hydrocarbon keratosis is also another well -known type of keratosis. It occurs in people who are more exposed to chemical compounds such as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons or poly -nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. It is a very dangerous form of keratosis and can also result in cancer. Also known as “tar keratosis” or “tar warts” this skin lesion occurs primarily in workers dealing with tar , oil , fuel and lubricating oils. Consulting a dermatologists as soon as you observe changes in your skin is very important .
Keratosis pilaris is a type of keratosis which occurs as a result of excessive production of keratin. This excess keratin results in formation of bumps that can be a bit itchy and irritating. Keratosis can be prevented by keeping the skin clean and maintaining a healthy life style. In order to treat keratosis pilaris various options are available. By keeping the skin moisturized , using retinoid and choosing photodynamic therapy keratosis pilaris can be treated.