Keratosis is a condition that can exist on a person’s skin and go completely unnoticed. There are many forms of keratosis and each form of keratosis has its own unique set of symptoms. Some forms may exist and go completely unnoticed since they do not bring any discomfort to the person. Some other forms, however, may cause severe discomfort to the person and require immediate attention.
First of all are the basic traits of a keratosis growth. It is made up of a lesion or bump on a person’s skin brought about by the overproduction of keratin or an abnormality that is associated with keratin. This means that keratosis is always on the outermost layer of the skin where keratin is found. The fact that the affected area is so easily accessible gives doctors an easy time performing removal of keratotic growths.
Before the procedure is started, however, some important considerations need to be made by the doctor and the patient. These will influence the choice of the treatment to be administered. One of the main considerations is whether the growth has a probability of degenerating into cancer. Another factor is the cost of the treatment and the time it will take to fully heal. When these factors are addressed, the doctor takes into consideration the preferences of the patient and finally recommends the best treatment.
Freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen to enable removal of the growth is one of the ways to treat keratosis. It is also known as cryosurgery and can be used in most cases of keratosis. For thick growths however, it is not a very effective way of treatment since the freezing agent only penetrates up to a certain depth.
The other method of keratosis removal is curettage where the doctor uses a curette which is a spoon-like instrument to cut off the growth. This method is best used in combination with other methods as recurrence may occur when it is used alone.
Burning the growth with an electric current is the other method of keratosis removal. This involves using an electronic charge to burn off the growth and is also called electrocautery. It may cause relatively more scarring than other methods and may also take more time.
Laser treatment is another method of keratosis removal. In this method, a high intensity beam of light is used to literally vaporize the growth. The doctor applies a toning agent to the growth first to help in focusing the laser energy on the growth.
Some other removal techniques include exfoliation which uses either mechanical action or use of chemicals such as acidic solutions and enzymes.
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