All About Keratosis and How to Treat It

July 22, 2010

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If you are fond of being outdoors all the time and staying under the sun’s bright rays, you may be at risk for what is known as keratosis. Keratoses, specifically the actinic kind, generally refer to small, uneven spots that feel rough and appear on a person’s skin, which has been constantly exposed to the sun. Also known as solar keratosis, this skin condition mostly affects individuals with fair skin who have let themselves be under the sun frequently throughout the years. In size, each spot can measure between 2-6 mm in diameter. Usually  reddish in appearance, the spots feel rough to the touch. Yellow or white scales may often become visible or develop on top of the patches. Aside from having an inherent roughness, actinic keratoses can make your body feel sore as well as painful when something rubs against them, like clothing or even one’s hands.

The affected areas on the skin are commonly the face, scalp, and nape. There is also the possibility that the patches can develop on the top part of the hands and on your forearms. All of these are places that receive the most sunshine. The thing that makes keratosis alarming is that it can be potentially precancerous. Precancerous means that any actinic keratosis can develop skin cancer. An actinic keratosis is diagnosed by physicians by a close examination of the spots. Because of this, individuals who notice some sort of unusual growth on their epidermis must visit a doctor to have it checked if it is precancerous.

No matter how you look at it, prevention will always be better than the cure. Keratosis is best prevented when one refrains from staying under the extreme rays of the sun. If you already have these patches, keratosis removal can solve your problem.   Photodynamic therapy, cryosurgery, diclofenac therapy, 5-fluorouracil therapy, imiquimod therapy, and the cutting or burning of the keratoses are several of the kinds of keratosis treatment.

You must visit your doctor annually to check your skin once you have been given keratosis treatment. If your old keratoses somehow look suspicious, it may mean that they can be cancerous, which must be diagnosed ASAP. And lastly, a good piece of advice: once you have experienced keratosis, avoid excessive exposure to the sun to lessen the chances of the spots to come back.

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