Actinic keratoses, also referred to as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of skin thanks to damage from sun exposure. Some actinic keratoses can become epithelial cell carcinoma , so it's important to perform self-examinations often and catch them early.
Who's at risk?
People with fair skin who sunburn easily; have trouble tanning; have blue, green, or hazel eyes; and red or blond hair are most in danger for developing actinic keratoses. those that have had tons of sun exposure in their youth are at a high risk also . Those with a weak system thanks to chemotherapy, HIV, or an transplant are at higher risk.
Spots usually appear in those that are older (over 50), but they will start appearing in younger adults who have had tons of sun exposure. Darker-skinned individuals are rarely affected.
Signs and Symptoms
The sun-exposed areas of the face, scalp (where balding), ears, neck, forearms, and backs of the hands are most ordinarily affected with actinic keratoses, but any skin area frequently exposed to sun are often involved.
Patches are usually but an in. in size with slight scale (sometimes thick sort of a wart) and a pink, red, or brownish color. they're slightly rough to the touch, like fine sandpaper, and should be a touch sensitive.
Ø Mild – one or two spots, not thick or hard
Ø Moderate – scattered, few spots
Ø Severe – numerous or thick, hard, or bleeding spots
Prevention is extremely important. Sun protection can reduce the amount of latest areas occurring and should help small lesions get away on their own.
Ø Avoid direct sun within the middle of the day (10 AM to three PM). Remember: snow and water reflect light to the skin, and clouds still let tons of sunshine through, so you'll still be exposed to ultraviolet even on cloudy days.
Ø Use a hat with a good brim. A baseball hat doesn't give much protection.
Ø Cover up with tightly woven clothing. Some manufacturers make specialty clothing with a high sun protection factor (SPF) rating, otherwise you can buy a special ingredient to be added to your washer which will "wash" SPF into your clothing.
Ø Use sunscreen on all exposed skin areas, including the lips, before going outdoors. A broad spectrum (blocks UVB and UVA light), with an SPF of a minimum of 30, is best. Apply generously half-hour before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating tons .
Ø Do not use tanning beds!
Ø A diet (less than 21% calories from fat) has been shown to scale back the incidence of actinic keratoses.
Once a month, you ought to perform a self-exam to seem for signs of carcinoma . it's best to perform the exam during a well-lit area after a shower or bath. Use a full-length mirror with the added assistance of a hand glass , when necessary. employing a hand blower can assist you examine any areas of skin covered by hair, like your scalp.
Ø In front of a full-length mirror, inspect the front of your body ensuring to seem at the front of your neck, chest (including under breasts), legs, and genitals.
Ø With your arms raised, inspect each side of your body ensuring to look at your underarms.
Ø With your elbows bent, examine the front and back of your arms also as your elbows, hands, fingers, area between your fingers, and fingernails.
Ø Inspect the tops and bottoms of your feet, the world between your toes, and toenails.
Ø With your back to the mirror and holding a hand glass , inspect the rear of your body, including the rear of your neck, shoulders, legs, and buttocks.
Ø Using a hand glass , examine your scalp and face.
As you perform your monthly self-exam, familiarize yourself with the moles, freckles, and other marks on your body, and appearance for any changes in them from month to month, including shape, size, color, or other changes, like bleeding or itching.
When to hunt medical aid
If you've got severe changes or have a spot that's growing or bleeding, see the doctor. Sometimes a biopsy could also be done to seem for carcinoma .
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe:
Ø Local destruction with freezing (cryosurgery), scraping (curettage), burning (electrocautery), dermabrasion, or a laser
Ø Creams with either tretinoin, adapalene, fluorouracil, diclofenac, or imiquimod
Ø Chemical peeling
Ø Photodynamic therapy
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