A premalignant condition such as actinic keratosis can lead to something worse like a squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cells are affected by this type of skin cancer, and our skin is made up of squamous cells. You must have actinic keratosis eliminated to lower your risks of having skin cancer.
Keratinocytes affected by UV radiation can mutate and fail. The epidermis thickens, that’s why actinic keratosis appears to be bumpy and scaly. As the name suggest, it has something to do with keratin, the component of our hair and nails. This also contributes to actinic keratosis’ wart like appearance.
You better be concerned about that actinic keratosis if you don’t want it to turn to something worse. The vulnerability of squamous cells is due to its flatness and thinness. So, one may decide to have these actinic keratoses removed to avoid further danger of cancer.
Many treatments for actinic are now available, and its up to you which type of treatment would suit you best. It also depends on your budget and the severity of your condition.
Actinic Keratosis (AK) Removal Treatments
• The most effective way to have AK removed is through laser surgery. Carbon dioxide and Erbium YAG lasers are used for these skin lesions.
• Electrocautery employs electricity in burning of the AK.
• Cryosurgery works like electrocautery, but this time, extremely low temperature is used to take off skin cells affected with AK. Liquid nitrogen is used for this procedure.
• AK can be effectively eradicated using 5-fluorouracil. Efudex is a good example of this: and this cream works by making abnormal cells absorb the fluorouracil which inhibits their reproduction. It is immediately absorbed by the abnormal cells than the healthy cells. The treatment using this cream could be very harsh, but the results are satisfying.
• Aldara, or in general, imiquimod is an immune response modifier which can help remove AK. Treating yourself with this can cause discomforts, but if you are really determined to get rid of your actinic keratosis, then you should endure the discomforts it can cause.
AK can be removed by those medication effectively, but there are still more treatments available. You should consult a dermatologist or doctor before proceeding to a treatment so your overall health would be checked if you can undergo such treatments. Early intervention of actinic keratosis can prevent you from having bigger problems such as squamous cell carcinoma.