Actinic & Seborrheic Keratosis

Hyperkeratinization on skin is the main cause of keratosis. Keratin makes up the hair and nails of humans. When it is produced out of proportion, some skin problems like keratosis could occur. There are many types of keratoses, each varying in nature and causes.

Actinic Keratosis
Solar keratosis or senile keratosis is actinic keratosis technically. This skin condition often occurs to older people, and to people who get too much sun exposure, thus the names senile or solar keratosis. Actually, it can be a precancerous warning sign and can lead to squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratoses are wart like bumps which are rough, scaly but non viral. Since it is one of the skin cancer warning signs, it must be paid attention to and removed under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Actinic Keratosis Treatments
There are many treatments for skin that has actinic keratosis. One can opt for non surgical or surgical treatments. Surgical treatments include cryotherapy (use of liquid nitrogen in freezing off), electrocautery (uses electricity in burning off) and laser (Er-YAG lasers). These treatments are more suitable for worse situations however. If you fear surgeries, there are creams which can help remove actinic keratosis.

Imiquimod can cure actinic keratosis effectively. It alters the immune response of a person. A doctor’s recommendation is needed to acquire the drug. The skin could look unsightly during treatments and major discomforts could be experienced. But the result after the treatment is satisfying.

5-fluorouracil is an anti cancer drug, and Efudex is a brand name for it. The drug is a topical cream also used for chemotherapy. Application of the cream with fingers is recommended instead of metal applicators. Side effects include inflammation, itchiness, and pain on the area where the cream is applied. In rare cases, discoloration of the skin and scars can occur. But these are just experienced during treatment. Before using the drug, your doctor must know if you are taking any other medicine. Efudex can have adverse effects on a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, so it must be avoided. Precautions in using Efudex also include avoidance of sun exposure, and use of sunscreen with SPF 15 and above. Consult your doctor first before getting a treatment to be safe.

Seborrheic Keratosis
Seborrheic keratosis resembles actinic keratosis, but in this case, it could be waxy or greasy. It is also not as hazardous as AK since it is noncancerous. Keratinocytes on the upper layer of the epidermis are liable for this. They also resemble warts because of its pasted on appearance and sometimes associated with old age, thus it is also referred to as the barnacles of old age. The main reason it occurs is still unknown.

Seborrheic Keratosis Treatments
Cryosurgery and electrocautery are some forms of treatments for seborrheic keratosis. Electodessication and curettage is used for instances that are big enough.. A scalpel is used in place of a curette in a method called surgical excision.

Once you have solved these skin problems, you have to take very good care of it to avoid further sun damage. It could occur again if you become careless about protecting your skin.