Actinic Keratosis | Early Treatment Is Essential

August 31, 2010

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A serious issue about having actinic keratosis is its probable progression into squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer and usually affects areas that get the most exposure to the sun such as the face. Having actinic keratosis can heighten one’s risk of having squamous cell carcinoma, so if you are concerned about your health, that actinic keratosis must go once it is diagnosed.

Keratinocytes affected by UV radiation can mutate and fail. The bumpy and scaly characteristic is contributed by the thickening of the epidermis on the affected part. Keratin is the main element of our hair and nails, thus the term keratosis is coined. This also contributes to actinic keratosis’ wart like appearance.

Neglecting your actinic keratosis can lead to something even worse. Since the squamous cells are flat, thin cells, they can be easily damaged by UV radiation from the sun. So, one may decide to have these actinic keratoses removed to avoid further danger of cancer.

The choices for treatments are wide, and it all depends on your preferences.   It also depends on your budget and the severity of your condition.

Actinic Keratosis Removal Treatments

•    Laser treatments could be the most effective but also a costly way of removing actinic keratosis. Specifically, CO2 and Er-YAG lasers are used for actinic keratosis.

•    Electrocautery is a form of cautery that uses electricity to burn off areas infested with actinic keratosis.

•    Cryosurgery works like electrocautery, but this time, extremely low temperature is used to take off skin cells affected with AK. The most popular solution used for this treatment is liquid nitrogen.

•    Although commonly used for chemotherapy, 5-fluorouracil also helps to cure actinic keratosis. The reproduction of anomalous cells is blocked by this cream.  Healthy skin cells are not greatly affected since the abnormal cells absorb fluorouracil faster. With the use of this cream, many side effects can be experienced but you can expect that the results are going to be good.

•    Another cream for treating actinic keratosis is called imiquimod. For the treatment to be effective, you had to be very keen despite the agony you will be suffering.

Those are just some of the popular treatments for keratosis. You should consult a dermatologist or doctor before proceeding to a treatment so your overall health would be checked if you can undergo such treatments. By removing your actinic keratosis, you can now breathe easily without worrying about squamous cell carcinoma.

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