Eshealthtips.com – People with fair skin, red or blond hair, or blue eyes are more susceptible to actinic keratosis. The sun’s UV rays damage the outer layer of skin cells known as keratinocytes, which are the same color as your skin. People with dark skin are rare but still at risk of developing actinic keratosis. The condition affects the lips and is a common symptom of UV damage.
Considering Natural Treatment Methods
Treatment for actinic keratosis depends on the severity and location of the condition. Treatment may involve topical medications, surgery, cryotherapy, or laser treatment. If the lesions are inconvenient to remove, patients may benefit from natural methods of treatment. These methods are both effective and safe. However, there are side effects associated with the treatment. Patients with severe actinic keratosis may want to consider natural methods of treatment before opting for invasive procedures.
An interprofessional team approach to treating actinic keratoses is an effective way to improve treatment outcomes. Treatment options vary based on the symptoms and number of lesions, compliance, and desired results. Your general practitioner may recommend lesion-directed treatment, while a dermatologist may refer you for consultation with a skin cancer specialist. Further, your healthcare provider may advise you to undergo a biopsy if the lesions are large enough.
Although actinic keratoses are characterized by small lesions that are often unsightly, they can sometimes cause pain and disfigurement. Although actinic keratoses rarely grow to two centimeters in diameter, they are often a sign of cancer. If not treated, actinic keratoses may progress to hypertrophy, which can result in cutaneous horns. They typically occur on the hands and dorsal forearms.
At-Risk of Developing other Types of Skin Cancer
While actinic keratoses may disappear on their own, they can return months or even years after treatment. If they reappear, they may be treated again or treated with another method. In addition to reoccurring actinic keratoses, patients with this condition are also at risk for other types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and intraepidermal squamous cell carcinoma.
Physical treatments for actinic keratosis include topical gels. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the affected area with the aim of stimulating the local immune system to destroy actinic keratosis cells. These gels can be applied at home and can be repeated on the affected area for up to 16 weeks. The main side effects of cryotherapy are blisters, scarring, and changes in skin color or texture.
Although the condition is incurable, you can reduce the risk of actinic keratoses by applying sunscreen every day on affected areas. Applying a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 is highly recommended and is effective after 3 applications. Another way to avoid actinic keratosis is to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or excessive ultraviolet light. This will prevent new patches from appearing and also lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
Effective Treatment for Actinic Keratosis
A topical solution containing 35% trichloracetic acid and 5% fluorouracil is an effective treatment for actinic keratoses. The results of the study were reported in Arch Dermatol. It was concluded that topical fluorouracil is more effective than imiquimod and topical imiquimod. Ingenol mebutate, on the other hand, was less effective than topical fluorouracil.
Photodynamic therapy involves using light to activate a drug that destroys actinic keratosis cells. The procedure is done in an office, which is an excellent option for people who are not comfortable applying creams at home. The treatment is commonly performed by dermatologists, but there are few guidelines for its application. Recently, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated four field-directed treatments for actinic keratosis.
There are different types of actinic keratosis, which may appear as an ugly age spot, a pimple, or a dry scaly patch on the lips. Symptomatic splitting and dry mouth are also symptoms. However, if you’re worried about actinic keratosis, make sure to visit your dermatologist as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.
Rigel, Darrell S., and Linda F. Stein Gold. “The importance of early diagnosis and treatment of actinic keratosis.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 68.1 (2013): S20-S27.
Dinehart, Scott M. “The treatment of actinic keratoses.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 42.1 (2000): S25-S28.