Actinic keratosis is a type of keratosis where there are painful, scaly and crusty lesions on the skin. This kind of keratosis is normally precancerous but can be treated. Actinic keratosis is a type of keratosis that is mainly caused by excessive exposure to the sun over the years. This type of keratosis is common in the older generation but it is rare in children and young adolescents. Actinic keratosis is also known to affect various body parts mainly the face, nose, ears, lips, legs, arms, hands, shoulders and the neck.
There is a form of this keratosis that is characterized by horns. This kind of actinic keratosis is known as the cutaneous horn. This type of keratosis is named so as in this case, the skin protrudes in a thick horn-like manner. This projection is normally conical and it is said to be horn-like as it resembles a small horn.
Cutaneous horn is formed of compacted keratin. Keratosis is a skin disorder that is caused by overproduction of keratin in the body and that is why keratin is a composition of the horn in cutaneous horn, being a type of keratosis. As much as the horn is conical, it can be crateriform, flat or nodular at its base.
Actinic keratosis usually attacks parts of the body that are mostly exposed to the sun. It is however important to note that cutaneous horns have the ability to occur on sun protected areas.
Actinic keratosis is a type of keratosis that is said to be malignant. For cutaneous horns, not all horns are malignant. Some are malignant while others are simply benign. Only a dermatologist can know which ones are malignant or not. In such a case, you need to see your dermatologist who will in turn help you know the difference and the way forward. It is nevertheless important to note that this skin disorder is more malignant in men that in women.
Actinic keratosis has been known to affect people with fairer skin more than those with darker skin. This type of keratosis mostly occurs in people above the age of 60 and it is more malignant in 70 year olds.
In conclusion, you have seen that cutaneous horn is another type of actinic keratosis and it can either lead to skin cancer or not. Check with a dermatologist to be on the same side and follow treatment to the latter.
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