Skin conditions are so common these days that almost everyone is guaranteed to have one form or the other. What most people don’t know is that 80% of their skin conditions are caused by the sun. It is not only heat that reaches us from the sun. Other harmful rays known as Ultra Violet rays are also emitted and these are very dangerous for the skin. Naturally the ozone layer is supposed to filter the rays of the sun such that only a minimal amount of these harmful rays reach the earth, but because of the harmful gases we ourselves have been releasing into the atmosphere, the ozone layer has slowly been corroded leaving room for those rays to penetrate.
One of these skin conditions is actinic keratosis. This skin condition is characterized by rough and dry scaly patches on the skin. These patches are similar to lesions. This condition is a gradual process and once it develops it is because of years of constantly exposing yours skin to sunlight without protection. These spots can be the same color as your skin tone or they may be red or brown in color. Their size can vary from the size of a lead of pencil to the size of a quarter. Sometimes these lesions may grow in such a way that they form a horn like structure commonly referred to as cutaneous horn.
It is vital that anyone diagnosed with actinic keratosis should be under a doctor’s care. This is because this condition can gradually progress into cancer and when that happens a patient may not be able to spot the change. The most lethal skin cancer type called squamous carcinoma can result from the simplest of skin conditions like actinic keratosis. Generally if you have actinic keratosis that means you have damaged skin as a result of over exposure to the sun. This presents an opportunity for melanoma to develop. Melanoma is considered a very dangerous form of skin cancer because of its ability to spread to other organs as well.
The origin of the name actinic keratosis is used to describe what happens to the skin at these stages. The actinic part of it explains that a chemical reaction occurs in the skin as a result of radiation from the sun while the keratosis part of it means that the skin becomes hard and rough as a result of these radiations.