Actinic keratosis are benign tumors of the skin surface. The condition usually appears after age 40.
Actinic keratoses are most common in parts of the body that are most exposed to the sun such as face, ears, neck, hands, or forearms They`re usually painless, but may become irritated and itchy.
Keratosis presents itself clinically as spots or rough, scaly lesions.
These spots or lesions are not cancerous, but if left untreated, can potentially become a serious type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
What are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?
Actinic keratosis is seen as spots of different colors just like pink, brown or the color of the skin, but bulky and rough to the touch.
What causes actinic keratoses?
The major cause of AK is too much sun exposure (natural light as the sun or artificial light such as the UV tanning light).
Who is at risk for actinic keratoses?
It is more common in patients with low Fitzpastrick type skin, blue eyes, middleaged or older who had much exposure to sun.
How is actinic keratosis diagnosed?
People who are at risk for any skin disorder should monitor their skin regularly. If you notice any persistent lump or spot color, texture, shape, size not as usual, contact your doctor or dermatologist. Other symptoms to worry about are grains that do not heal or anything else that bleed easily. Your doctor may do a skin biopsy removing part or all of the affected zone to check for cancer cells.
How to treat actinic keratosis?
In most cases, actinic keratosis can be treated and cured. The result is more favorable if the disease is detected in its early stages. Treatment options include:
• Topical creams or lotions
• Cryosurgery (freezing)
• Electro-surgery (use of an electric current)
The modern treatment today is the laser peel such as Lotus II (see video) Lotus II is a Diffractive Micro Fractional Erbium Yag Laser which irradiate micro laser spots on the affected area painless, quickly and leaving no scars so the patients can resume social activity immediately after treatment. No anesthesia is required. Since the laser impact on tissue is so fast, no pain or discomfort are noticed by the patient. Thus, it is possible to treat multiple lesions, even of larger size.
This treatment is regularly performed at the Hoogstra Clinic for Facial and Body Aesthetics located in the area of Belgrano in the city of Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA. More info at:
How can you prevent actinic keratosis?
The best way to prevent actinic keratosis is to reduce exposure to the sun, especially during hours where the sun is at its highest point and the sunlight is more intense. Here are some methods: • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat to protect areas of the skin that may be exposed to the sun. • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher for at least 30 minutes before going outside. UV A and B protection crèmes are recommended. • Try to avoid staying in the sun or using solariums; instead use self-tanning products Information provided by the Hoogstra Clinic for Facial and Body Aesthetic.
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