What To Know About Keratosis

August 15, 2010

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Hyperkeratinization on skin is the main cause of keratosis. Our hair and nails are mostly made up of keratin. Excessive quantity of this could be bad for the skin. There are many types of keratoses, each varying in nature and causes.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is also known as solar or senile keratosis. AK is said to be caused by too much exposure to the sun’s UV radiation and is associated with old age, thus it is sometimes called solar keratosis or senile keratosis. Actually, it can be a precancer warning and can result to squamous cell carcinoma. It is commonly characterized by being thick, crusty and wart like bumps, occurring on sun exposed areas of the skin. Since it is one of the skin cancer warning signs, it must be paid attention to and removed with the recommendation of a dermatologist.

Actinic Keratosis Treatments

There are many treatments for skin that have actinic keratosis. Non surgical or surgical methods can be chosen. Surgical treatments include laser, electrocautery or cryotherapy. These treatments are more suitable for worse instances however. Non surgical treatments require the application of creams.

Imiquimod can heal actinic keratosis effectively. It is a type of drug which is an immune response modifier. However, the cream requires a prescription, and also the commitment and endurance on the part of the patient. The treatment may cause discomforts and skin may look unsightly. But after all the things you need to tolerate, you’ll be satisfied with the result.

5-flourouracil is the standard name for drugs such as Efudex. It is usually an agent for chemotherapy. Application of the cream with fingers is advised instead of metal applicators. The treated area could swell, hurt or itch as side effects. In other cases, skin discoloration and scarring also happens. The good thing is that it only occurs on the track of the treatment. Before using the drug, your doctor must know if you are taking any other medicine. Pregnant and lactating women are not advised to take Efudex. Precautions in using Efudex also include avoidance of sun exposure, and use of sunscreen with SPF 15 and above.

A medical recommendation is important before you go through any sort of treatment.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis resembles actinic keratosis, but in this case, it could be waxy or greasy. It is a noncancerous benign skin growth, so it poses no other potential dangers. Seborrheic keratosis is affected by keratinocytes. They also resemble warts because of its pasted on appearance and sometimes associated with old age, thus it is also referred to as the barnacles of old age. The main reason it occurs is still unspecified.

Seborrheic Keratosis Treatments

Treatments for seborrheic keratosis consist of cryosurgery and electrocautery. In bigger cases, electrodessication (drying the SK up using electricity) and curettage could be employed. . With surgical excision, a scalpel is used in place of a curette.

Once you have solved these skin problems, you have to take very good care of it to avoid further sun damage. It could occur again if you become careless about your personal hygiene.

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