Actinic keratosis, also known as solar keratosis, is classified as a skin precancer. Despite that, we can say that it is a prevalent condition since it affects many people worldwide. While it can occur in anyone, people with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and those with light or gray eyes are more likely to develop actinic keratoses when they are exposed to sunlight for an extended amount of time.
As this disease is closely related to the sun, people who live closer to the equator are more likely to suffer from it, and, on the other hand, men who have jobs that require them to be exposed to the sun and do not use sunscreen also have a high percentage of risk of suffering it.
If you do not know well about this skin disorder, at FastlyHealwe offer you all the information related to actinic keratosis: symptoms and treatment, as well as different images in which you can observe how the disease develops.
Causes of solar keratosis
Actinic keratosis is caused by chronic sun exposure. Some forms of actinic keratosis can be modified into skin cancer, so it is essential to take care of yourself with hats and sunscreen if you cannot avoid regularly being in for many hours in the sunlight.
This is essential for people who are more likely to develop it, among which are:
- People with fair skin
- people with light eyes
- People with blond or reddish hair
- People who have had a transplant
- People who use drugs that can disable the immune system
- Older people, especially from the groups discussed above
- Those who live near the equator
- People who have suffered severe or multiple sunburns at a young age
As you can see in the following image of actinic keratosis, the face is one of the areas where actinic keratosis is most common to develop. It is a part of the body that is very exposed to the sun.
Actinic keratosis: symptoms
Although solar keratosis can appear anywhere, it is more common in places that are most exposed to the sun’s rays:
- the scalp
- the face
- the chest
- the top of the hands
The symptoms can be observed first on the skin, where flat and scaly areas begin to appear, which look very similar to a yellow or white crust.
Tumors that become visible may be pink, red, gray, or the same skin tone. After a while, these changes can become complex, rough, gritty, or warty; however, many times, the affected parts can be easier to feel than to see.
Actinic keratosis: treatment
Some types of actinic keratosis can become a type of skin cancer popularly known as squamous cell, so you must make a medical consultation if you observe any alteration in your body. Since you are diagnosed with actinic keratosis, you may perform immediate treatment on tumors or neoplasms. The specialist will likely remove them through electrocautery, burn them, apply cryotherapy, freeze, scrape the lesion, use electricity, or suture it and rejoin the skin.
If the patient has many skin tumors, the enrollee may advise laser treatment, photodynamic therapy, a skin peel, or specific creams to improve this skin disorder.
Care to prevent solar keratosis
The primary measure to reduce the risk of developing this skin precancer is to expose yourself to the sun’s rays for the least amount of time possible. If you have to go out, you can do it at the least harmful hours, either in the early hours of the day or when it begins to sunset. If you have already been diagnosed with actinic keratosis, you can also follow these tips, but you should also be more attentive to any changes in your skin.
It is important to remember that the UV rays emitted by the sun are those that seriously affect the skin and that these are still present even when the day is cloudy, so the following recommendations should be made regardless of the state of the day:
- Wear broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, especially if your daily activities make you spend a lot of time under UV rays.
- Wear appropriate clothing that allows you to protect your skin, including long-sleeved blouses, pants, and hats.
- Wear clothes that absorb the most sunlight and incredibly dark tones.
- Avoid constant exposure to artificial UV lights, such as in tanning beds.
- Examine your skin at least once a month.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Actinic Keratosis: symptoms and treatment – with images , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.