What is Actinic keratosis? also known as solar keratosis, is the disorder of the skin characterized by the presence of small, scaly, elevated reddish bumps over the skin due to prolonged exposure to the sunlight. It most commonly affects the fair complexioned and neat skinned people. It is a pre-malignant condition which ultimately leads to skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma variety. Thick, crusty lesions appear over the sunlight exposed areas of the body such as face, hands, legs, scalp, lips, ears, neck and back. It is of four different types which are hyperkeratotic, pigmented, lichenoid and atropic actinic keratosis.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS CAUSES:
Among the most important actinic keratosis causes is long term exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. It affects the superficial layer of the skin. Sunlight has a cumulative effect on the epidermis of the skin. Even brief period of exposure by the sunlight adds to the total of lifetime. The risk of actinic keratosis increases if a person is above 60 years of age, has fair complexion, blue eyes, blond or red hair, have undergone kidney transplant in the past, have the history of repeated sunburns, chronically exposed to sunlight or is infected with human papilloma virus(HPV). Albinos and organ donor recipients most commonly develop it even after the brief exposure to the sun. In tanning salons, ultraviolet rays from the lamps are now considered by dermatologists to be more dangerous than sunlight.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS SYMPTOMS:
Actinic keratosis symptoms usually appear on sun exposed areas of the body. Skin changes begin as scaly, thick, patchy lesions less than 1 inch in diameter. The crusty ‘scale’ on top is often whitish or yellowish in color. The growths may be reddish, pinkish or of the same color as surrounding skin. They present as wart-like roughened surfaces which can be easily felt than seen. Occasionally they produce pricking sensation along with itching. There is inflammation and hyperemia of the involved area. In rare instances, bleeding from actinic keratosis lesions can occur.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS DIAGNOSIS:
Actinic keratosis diagnosis is visually based initially. Comfirmed diagnosis can be obtained by skin biopsy. Skin biopsy provides the accurate idea of transformation of actinic keratosis into a squamous cell carcinoma, also distinguishes it from other skin diseases such as seborrheic dermatitis.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS PREVENTION:
Actinic keratosis prevention includes: Avoidance of excessive exposure to the sunlight particularly at noon when the UV rays from the sun are at its maximum, use of sun screens and sun blocks containing SPF ratings higher than 30, wearing of sunlight protecting garments such as caps, hats, long-sleeved shirts and trousers.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS TREATMENT:
Various forms of treatments are present for actinic keratosis, including drugs such as ingenol mebutate, diclofenic sodium, 5-fluorouracil, cryosurgery, laser, electrocautery and photodynamic therapy. Actinic keratosis treatment when it has become a cancerous growth requires burning, scraping away the lesion, excision of the tumor and freezing. However all of these are associated with great degree of side effects and painful after effects. Actinic keratosis herbal product is made up of various natural herbs which can provide ultimate cure and clear benefits in the skin diseases. It improves the texture of the skin along with the decrease in lesions.