Actinic Keratose TREATMENT
Actinic Keratosis, scaly patches on the skin caused by excessive exposure to the sun, can sometimes progress into skin cancer. For this reason, the American Cancer Society, The Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology all recommend treatment.
Though the name is unfamiliar, actinic keratosis is very common among older adults. Also known as solar keratosis, anyone can develop this condition in multiple locations. Actinic keratosis is a scaly or crusty lump that appears on the surface of the skin. It can range in colors such as tan, pink, red, the same color as your skin, or a combination of all of them. Actinic keratosis is scaly, crusty, and rough to the touch. It can be itchy, prickly, and tender and should be avoided if possible from being touched. The lesions usually reach a size no bigger than a quarter of an inch and develop slowly.
Most common places for keratosis to appear
Actinic Keratosis Needs to be Constantly Monitored
If you have developed an actinic keratosis, it should be treated and removed right away. Keratosis can be the first step to the development of skin cancer and is referred to as a precursor to cancer. Medical professionals have estimated that 10 percent of lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinomas. These lesions are usually redder and a bit more tender than other forms of actinic keratosis.
If these lesions are detected and treated early on, they are usually not life-threatening. However, if not treated, they have the ability to grow and take over the surrounding tissue where the lesion is located. The most aggressive form of keratosis, actinic cheilitis, rises on the lips and can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. The presence of actinic keratosis means that the skin has been severely damaged by the sun or ultra UV light and can lead to skin cancer.
What Does Actinic Keratosis Look Like?
Actinic keratosis is never the same in patients who develop them. The appearance of actinic keratosis varies depending on where it is located on the body:
Forehead or scalp- Small red bumps and small tan crusts
Back of the hand- Scaly patches that are spread out and dark red
Lower lip- A gap in the skin filled with dry blood and a scaly keratosis
Cheek and ears- Crusted lesions that range in color
If you have developed any of these lesions, you need to contact a medical professional right away. At Kovak Cosmetic Center, we can locate and remove any non-threatening Actinic Keratosis.
Actinic Keratosis Causes
Most of the time, actinic keratosis is caused by sun exposure. Sun damage or excessive use of tanning beds accumulates over time, causing actinic keratosis lesions. Those who live in warmer climates closer to the equator have a strong chance of developing keratosis. Regardless of the climate, the dangers of sun exposure are present everywhere; UV rays reflect off sand, snow, and other surfaces while being able to pass through clouds.
Are You at Risk?
Those who have light skin and or blond hair are at the greatest risk of developing actinic keratosis. Due to the lack of pigment in the skin, those with fair skin are more susceptible to the sun and the burns that are caused by it. However, though less common, people with darker skin are still at risk of developing keratosis. If you have recently had cancer, chemotherapy, an organ transplant, or have AIDS, you are also at high risk of keratosis.
How Common is Actinic Keratosis?
One in six people have the chance of developing actinic keratosis during their lifetime. Adults are more likely to have this condition than younger people as they have been exposed to the sun for longer periods of time. Surveys and studies have shown that men and women between the ages of 60 to 75 have a larger chance of developing keratosis Majority of those who are 80 years old have or will develop actinic keratosis. If you live in a warmer climate and are constantly in the sun, no matter at what age, you are at risk of developing Actinic Keratosis.
Ways to Prevent Actinic Keratosis
- Protect yourself from the sun.
- Restrict the amount of time you spend in the sun.
- Avoid being in the sun between 10 am and 5 pm
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an (SPF) of 15 or greater.
- Avoid tanning parlors and artificial tanning beds
- Keep newborns out of the sun.
- Teach children good sun-protection habits.
How is It Actinic Keratosis Treated?
At Kovak Cosmetic Center, we have a variety of different cosmetic treatments for the removal of actinic keratosis. It all depends on the size, type, and aggressiveness of the lesions. If you are seeking actinic keratosis treatment, come in for a consultation, and your specialist will determine the best course of action to treat your condition. Treatments can include:
- Light therapy
- Laser therapy
- Regular surgery
- Chemical peels
BEFORE AND AFTER
Browse work performed on current and past Kovak patients.
Contact Kovak Cosmetic Center for Actinic Keratosis Treatment in Chicago
Actinic keratosis can be a very serious warning sign for skin cancer and needs to be treated right away. Not only is it dangerous, but it can take away from the self-esteem of patients. When you have had high exposures to the sun over time and fear that you have developed an actinic keratosis lesion, then seek medical help immediately. The skin care specialists & Dermatologist at Kovak Cosmetic Center will identify the type of Actinic Keratosis you have developed and recommend the best possible treatment – Contact Kovak Cosmetic Center for a Consultation!
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