Keratoses

November 22, 2011

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Keratosis are medical conditions which are characterized by the formation of growths of different shapes, sizes and varying colors on the skin. There are many causes of skin keratosis which may be either avoidable or unavoidable. There are also several types of keratosis. Skin keratosis is mostly caused by over-exposure to ultraviolet light which is mostly found in the sun’s rays. Most cases of the condition are found in light-skinned people especially those who are constantly exposed to sunlight.

Some other causes of keratosis include phototherapy, hereditary factors and reduced immunity. Once a growth is detected, a person should visit a dermatologist to identify the specific type so as to know whether it poses a risk to the patient. There are several types of keratoses namely: actinic, seborrheic, and keratosis pilaris.

Seborrheic keratosis and keratosis pilaris do not present any danger to the patient since they are not pre-cancerous. For patients suffering from actinic keratosis, treatment is highly advised. This is because if the condition goes untreated, it may eventually develop into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Even if this condition is not known to spread further than the location of the growth, it should be treated as soon as possible.

Regardless of the type of growth a person has, there is always an available treatment and all of the treatments are considerably effective. Some of the growths are treated simply by application of creams and they are gone after a few weeks. For other growths, more complex treatments are recommended. They are carried out with the intention of not only curing the keratosis but also to prevent a recurrence of the growth.

One of the methods of treatment is freeze drying where the doctor applies a freezing agent to the growth which kills the cells that make up the growth and they eventually fall off.  Liquid nitrogen is common for this procedure.

Another treatment is known as curettage where the doctors use a spoon shaped tool to manually remove the growth. This method is quick and easy but it may result in a recurrence of the growth when it is used alone.

Another cure used to treat keratosis is surgery. This is mostly common when the growth cannot be removed using other simpler methods or when there are other factors involved such as the preferences of the patient.

Electrodessication uses a needle that has an electrified tip. It works by burning away the growth and leaves behind healthy tissue. Laser treatment is also used to vaporize the growth.

keratosis

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