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Actinic Keratosis

What is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a flaky or blistering growth on the skin that is typically caused by sun’s ultra violet rays. Also called solar keratosis, it affects face, lips, bald scalp, back of hands, forearms, ears, and neck – the body parts that are frequently exposed to sun.

AK marks are less than 2.5 cm in diameter and are often reddish in colour with rough texture. They may have a yellowish or white scale on the top. At times, there is a prickling pain felt on touching them. If left untreated for long, some lesions can grow into skin cancer.

What are the symptoms of this condition?

The signs of this skin disorder include:

  • Dry, rough and crusty patches, usually less than 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) on the skin
  • Flat or slightly swollen mark on exposed layer of skin
  • Reddish, pink, or red brown coloured marks
  • Itching, burning sensation or slight pain on the marks

What causes actinic keratosis?

Prolonged and frequent exposure to sun is the chief cause of this condition - damage caused by sun’s rays is cumulative and small periods of exposure can also add to lifetime total. Ultraviolet radiation from lamps in a tanning salon is more dangerous than sun and this too can cause development of AK.

At times, the problem may be caused by extensive exposure to X-rays or to certain industrial chemicals.

Am I at risk of developing actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis can affect anyone but you are at a stronger risk for this skin problem, if you::

  • Live in a region with sunny climate throughout the year
  • Are fair skinned and spend considerable time outdoors at work or play
  • Have a tendency to develop freckles because of long term exposure to sunlight
  • Have taken indoor tanning saloon treatments
  • Have a suppressed immune system or are an organ-transplant patient
  • Have a personal history of skin related diseases
Although age is not a direct factor related to actinic keratosis, the total amount of exposure to sun rays increases with years and so older people are quite prone to this skin condition.

How to prevent this condition?

The natural way to prevent actinic keratosis is to stay protected against the UV rays. Here are some steps that can be taken for same:

  • While working outside, restrict your time in the sun and wherever feasible, seek shade.
  • Before stepping out, apply a good quality sunscreen lotion all over the exposed parts of your face and body – the product should have an SPF of 15 or more.
  • Cover up well with clothes and accessories that limit your exposure to sun – wear hats/caps and UV blocking sun-glasses for more care.
  • Stay away from UV rays emitting tanning beds and tan intensifying creams – if you wish for a darker skin tone, use good quality cosmetic bronzing creams.
  • Check your skin from head to toe regularly and meet a dermatologist if you see any new marks or abnormal growth.

Treatment at Skin Alive

Actinic keratosis is treated with topical medications and specialised clinical procedures or a combination of both. Skin Alive’s the doctor will diagnose your condition and prescribe the medications that may be necessary for the treatment. For removal of patches left by this ailment, we have medical cosmetic procedures and doctor will decide after the diagnosis.

  • CO2 (Carbon dioxide) Laser - It involves fractional delivery system for light energy to treat skin selectively and helps to remove the lesion

Your Appointment

As a specialised clinic for treatment of skin disorders, Skin Alive has safe and effective cure for actinic keratosis. After diagnosing the problem and underlying causes, we prescribe what works the best in each individual case. During your appointment with our dermatologists, do ask question that you may have for your skin disorder and tell them about the topical medications that you may have used in the past.

With cutting edge laser systems and an array of Signature Therapies for all types of skin, we work to give you the most delightful experience at our centres.

Call us on +91-8527622991 to book your appointment.

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