Keratin does not ususlly develop on skin, and once it does, you are likely to be suffering from a form of keratosis. Actually, keratin is the main part of hair, toe nails and fingernails. But if it grows on skin, it could cause thickness, lumping and wart like growths. There are several types of keratoses including actinic keratosis, pilaris keratosis, hydrocarbon keratosis and seborrheic keratosis. Our focus will be on seborrheic keratosis and its surgical removal. A few other terms for it are senile keratosis, senile wart, senile verruca, stucco verruca. Since the face, the arms and neck are the parts of the skin which get extended sun exposure, keratosis commonly affects these areas. People who have less melanin are at high danger of getting seborrheic keratosis. It causes no harm and treatment is not necessary unless its appearance bothers you or if it becomes irritated by jewellery or clothing.
Seborrheic keratoses look like a waxy stuck on mole in color and in size. But moles don’t just grow bigger and thicker like keratosis does. The main distinction is its thickening and growth. If having keratosis is verified, many treatments are available. This also depends on the severity of one’s keratosis. For mild cases, there are creams and gels such as Ag3derm Cream which can be applied on the affected area for about 2-3 weeks. This would soften the keratosis and eventually it would form a scab and fall off, leaving no scarring. There are also surgical options, like cryosurgery.
Very cold temperature is used in cryosurgery to kill off abnormal growths in the skin tissue. Liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide mixture is applied to the affected area. It hardens the affected area more to make it easier to eliminate. Cryosurgery carries the risk of damaging nearby healthy tissues and some nerve tissues.
Another option for surgical treatment is through laser surgery. This type of surgery does not need the use of scalpel. Laser surgery burns out damaged tissues, and it could be costly. Minimal scarring and fast healing could be experienced through laser surgery.
In case of short budget, traditional surgery could also be chosen. Since keratosis does not penetrate deep within the skin, it could be removed on the skin surface by softening the affected part with a cream or gel, then, a dermatologist would do the rest of the surgical procedure. This could be painful and leave a scar but if your SK bothers you then you must decide if it is worth it.
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