The Importance Of Identifying The Type Of Keratosis In Selecting The Most Applicable Treatment

September 10, 2010

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Do you know what those skin lesions might be? This is called keratosis – the development of excess protein named keratin in the skin. Generally, prevention of progression to cancer, promotion of comfort and cosmetic enhancement are the aim of treatments. The most important things to consider before selecting the treatment that is right for you are to let an doctor identify your keratosis type and to determine its cause. This will not be that effortless for there are three keratosis types. These are the actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis and keratosis pilaris which we will be disussing along with their respective treatments.

First up is actinic keratosis having the terms “solar keratosis” and “senile keratosis” as its substitute labels. This keratosis is characterized by the presence of thickened, rough bumps which greatly vary in color – but mostly reddish or brownish – on the skin of body parts constantly overexposed to the sun. The causes are identified to be unprotected overexposure to the sun exacerbated by increasing age. Although this type is seldomly painful or itchy, this can progress into malignant conditions. Since this type eventually leads to skin cancer, it is a must to receive appropriate treatment. The use of medicines, cryosurgery, the use of laser, the use of light combined with dye, electrocautery or surgery are the treatment preferences for actinic keratosis.

Differently, the distinctive lesions of seborrheic keratosis are found on parts of the body not usually exposed such as the chest and the back. But its waxy or greasy property is what makes it very different from actinic keratosis. Moreover, unlike actinic keratosis, this type does not progress to cancer. Therefore, you will worry only about your physical appearance and the minor skin complications that result from your skin touching your clothes. Genetics and prolonged sun exposure are the causes of seborrheic keratosis . Since this is not a precursor to cancer, treatment is actually unnecessary. But if we are talking about physical appearance, there are several ways with which we can remove these unwanted lesions. As with actinic keratosis, the affected individual can choose among laser treatments, electrocautery, surgery, curettage or cryosurgery.

The last type, keratosis pilaris also known as follicular keratosis, is solely caused by genetics. This is also characterized by rough bumps on the skin, usually red and that are usually located at the back and outer arm. Due to the excess thickening of keratin, hair follicles are trapped in skin and eventually form into these tiny rock-like skin growths. It is also benign, like seborrheic keratosis, so treatments are only for the manifestations. Symptoms are managed with the use of light, the use of laser or drug therapy.

In sum, each type of keratosis has a number of corresponding treatments. But if you dislike to have skin cancer, to feel any discomfort due to skin itching, swelling and unsightliness, you have to ensure the safety and health of your skin. And there is no other way of achieving this but by consuming healthy foods, drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day, exercising three to five times a week and sleeping for six to eight hours a day.

Keratosis further readingFurther Reading:

ActinicSeborrheic

Website Reading:

Actinic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

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