Actinic Keratosis

Our skin is the largest organ of our body and has some of the most complex tasks. One of them is protection of the internal organs. As our skin is very important it should be taken care of. Skin conditions occur as a result of hyperpigmentation which leads to an excess of melanin being formed or even an over production of keratin which causes the skin to harden.

In this case the skin condition is referred to as actinic keratosis. This condition is also known by the name of solar keratosis. This condition is characterized by small rough spots that have been exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Their smallest size may be 2 millimeters while their biggest may be 6. They are red in color and look as if they have a rough surface. Though not all of them, but most will have a white or yellow point on top. Actinic keratosis can be seen in people with wrinkles and a history of constant sun exposure. These spots are sore when an object is rubbed against them or when they come into contact with clothes.

Actinic keratosis can have types such as cutaneous horns whereby the skin juts out like a horn and another type is actinic cheilitis whereby the lower lip becomes rough and scaly looking. The skin around the lip is also affected.

Although this condition can affect anyone, it is seen more in people with fair skin. Such people develop this condition after spending hours in the sun unprotected. It also affects those who are in the habit of tanning themselves indoors. All of this can lead to one developing this condition. As a result of all that exposure to the sun, their skin is left looking mottled, wrinkled and discolored.

Other people who have high chances of getting actinic keratosis are those whose immunity systems have been suppressed as a result of organ transplants. This happens when their immunities are lowered so that they their bodies will not reject the new organ.

Actinic keratosis can occur on the face as this is the most exposed to the sun. The spots will be more pronounced on the nose, cheeks and forehead. Other areas where the spots can occur are like the back of the arms, the chest and the back. Some men are said to develop actinic keratosis on the top of the ears but women won’t because their hair provides protection.

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