Keratosis – What Does It Look Like?

December 27, 2010

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Keratosis is a skin condition wherein there is excessive growth of keratin. Keratin is a family of tough structural proteins which is the key structural material that composes the outer layer of human skin. When there is surplus in the development of keratin.

There are different types of keratosis. More specifically, in the form of actinic keratosis, cutaneous horns, keratosis pilaris, porokeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis. These types are classified depending on many factors; one of them being their appearance.

Actinic keratosis is a skin condition typified by its symptoms such as small rough spots on the skin, scaly patches, and non-painful non-itching rash. Typically, an AK is 2-6 millimetres in diameter. An AK has a rough texture with white or yellowish scales. Early lesions of this condition can be diagnosed by the texture of the skin of an individual.  On affected areas, the coarsened skin will progressively form a yellow crust. Instant reaction of people experiencing these early lesions is normally to pick off the crust. However, it will usually lead to bleeding.

Cutaneous horns is a condition characterized by protruding keratotic or horn like growth. This keratosis normally occurs on sun exposed areas. Typically, this type of keratosis is cone shaped.

Another type is keratosis pilaris or KP. Generally KP appears as small acne-like bumps. Symptoms of KP is small rough, red, or skin coloured bumps mainly located around hair follicles. In some cases, the appearance of KP is like goose bumps or chicken skin appearance. Typically, the affected areas have dry and rough patches and in some cases, itchiness may be experienced.

On the other hand, porokeratosis is a form that can be identified with small, light brown scaly papules. The papules have irregular boundaries. Around the edges of the papules, warty rim may be found. Well defined thin furrows that are running into the center are also a characteristic of the papules.

Seborrheic keratosis is characterized by small raised yellow brown warts. Papules are yellow brown in color. A person having this condition may have areas of skin with excessive pigmentation. Warts that produce sebum may also emerge. Typically, skin growths are raised, thick, discolored, greasy, and itchy. It can also be observed that the edges are not attached to skin surface and it looks like a blob of wax or clay.

Keratosis further readingFurther Reading:

Actinic KeratosisSeborrheic Keratosis

Website Reading:

Actinic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

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