Keratosis

Keratosis is a skin condition which involves the thickening of the top layer of the skin. Keratosis is just another example of the many skin conditions that exist. This thickening may be as a result of many factors and thus it gives us many types of keratosis to look at. In this article we will be focusing more on actinic keratosis.

As much as we may enjoy the sun’s heat and warmth, it emits rays of light that are harmful to our skin. These rays are known as Ultra Violet rays. The ozone layer is the earth’s natural protective shield that filters these rays such that they aren’t as harmful as they should be. Due to constant harmful emissions into the atmosphere, the ozone layer has been slowly eroded thus leaving room for these dangerous rays to reach earth. Once these rays are exposed to your skin a number of problems may occur worse still you may develop skin conditions as a result of the continuous exposure. One such condition that you may develop is actinic keratosis.

Actinic Keratosis
This is a condition that looks like small spots that have been continuously exposed to the sun. Their size can range from two millimeters to six millimeters. Their appearance is characterized by a red color, rough feeling when touched and sometimes there appears to be white scales on the tip of the spots. Actinic keratosis has a higher chance of forming in areas where the skin is sallow, over exposed to the sun and has superficial blood vessels. Usually pain accompanies the spot when it is touched or when a clothing item rubs against it.

Actinic keratosis may also depict itself as a horn like growth that protrudes from the skin. Another form is that it can appear as a scaling of the lower lip accompanied with some roughness.

Those at risk of developing actinic keratosis are those that are light skinned. This is because for them their skin does not produce a lot of melanin which is known to protect against the sun’s rays and thus they can get affected easily. If they spend a lot of their time outdoors then the chances of them developing this condition are higher. Other people at risk of developing actinic keratosis are those that have a suppressed immunity system as a result of receiving an organ transplant.

The most common area for this condition to develop is the face, especially the nose and the cheeks.

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