Various Kinds of Keratosis

There are several kinds of keratosis.  Keratosis is a relatively common skin condition that includes keratosis pilaris, actinic keratosis (known as AK) and keratosis cutaneous horns. These various types of keratosis range from dry flaky skin and pimple type bumps to red blotches covered with white and yellow crust and horny type projections from the skin.

Keratosis Pilaris is a very common skin condition that is seen most often on the upper arms, buttocks and thighs. These bumps can be experienced by babies and teens as well as adults. This form of keratosis is caused by dry skin cells getting caught in hair follicles and clogging them. This tends to form little bumps or pimples and a rough dry texture to the skin. They are not painful or bothersome but they are unattractive. A topical cream is usually recommended by the physician to treat the condition.

Solar keratosis and actinic keratosis are seen in patches on the skin. These patches are often raised up slightly from a red lump which is covered with a white or yellow crust. These patches should be treated as early as possible in order to eliminate their growth and the concern of cancer. This form of keratosis is considered to be precancerous and has a 5% to 10% chance of developing into cancer such as melanoma. These skin sores are unsightly and can develop into unattractive larger sores. They often appear on the face, the ears, nose and arms.

Cutaneous horns are a form of keratosis that often develops in conjunction with other forms of keratosis such as actinic keratosis.  This type of keratosis creates a skin condition that sticks out from the skin like a tiny horn.  Other forms of keratosis appeared to be scale like and rough on the face. They can also create a scaling and roughness on the lips which blur the skin between the lip and the facial surface.

These forms of keratosis are considered to be precancerous and should be treated by a physician. Treatments vary from a cream to surgical removal. Some options include laser treatments and a freeze dry treatment which causes the growth to be removed from the skin. The earlier these keratosis growths are removed the better.

Various types of keratosis are easily treated by a physician. Early treatment quickly removes any unsightly bumps or spots. Not all forms of keratosis are pre-cancerous, however, some types do carry a 5% to 10% risk of developing into cancer and should be treated as early as possible.