The Importance Of Identifying The Type Of Keratosis



Are you wondering what those blemishes on your skin are? Keratosis is the result of the excess formation of the protein keratin, naturally found in the skin. Generally, prevention of advancement to cancer, promotion of comfort and cosmetic enhancement are the purpose of treatments. Since you can choose from a list of keratosis treatment options, it is substantial to discern which of them is most appropriate for you – by discovering the keratosis type you have and finding out its cause. This will not be difficult for there are three main keratosis types. These three – actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis and keratosis pilaris – along with their treatments, will be the main spotlight of this article.

Also commonly known as solar keratosis and senile keratosis, actinic keratosis will be the first in our agenda. This keratosis is characterized by the presence of thickened, rough bumps which greatly vary in color – but mostly reddish or brownish – on the skin of body parts constantly overexposed to the sun. Its most usual causes are prolonged exposure to the sun’s damaging rays and old age. Though you seldom experience pain or itch, this type is dreaded for its precancerous state. Without the proper treatment, this can surely lead to malignant neoplasm of the skin. The treatment for actinic keratosis is, in general, its removal through the use of various agents such as drugs, topical creams, cryogens like liquid nitrogen, laser, light or electric current or through surgery.

On the other hand, seborrheic keratosis is characterized by the presence of lesions somehow similar to actinic keratosis which manifest anywhere on the body but on the anterior and posterior chest most of the time. However, from all its dissimilarities with actinic keratosis, the quality that stands out the most is its waxiness or greasiness. Moreover, unlike actinic keratosis, this type does not progress to cancer. Therefore, you will only be concerned by its appearance and by the itching, bleeding or inflammation brought about by its contact with clothing. This is caused either by genetic history or prolonged sun exposure. Due to its inability to cause cancer, treatment is only optional. But if we are talking about physical appearance, there are several ways with which we can remove these unwanted lesions. These are the use of laser, the use of high electric current, the use of surgical instruments, the use of curettage or cryosurgery.

Family history is the single most important factor in the existence of the third type – keratosis pilaris, alternately called follicular keratosis. The reddish rough bumps that appear on the back and the lateral aspect of the arm is what describes this type of keratosis. Due to the excess thickening of keratin, hair follicles are enclosed in skin and eventually form into these small rock-like skin growths. Since it is not cancerous, treatments are utilized only for symptom management including itch and discomfort. Symptoms are managed with the use of light, laser therapy or drug therapy.

In conclusion, various treatments for each type of keratosis are already available and they will continue to grow. However, if you do not want to experience the fear of acquiring skin cancer, the discomfort brought about by the itching or inflammation, or the ugliness it brings to your physical appearance, you have to ensure you take good care of your skin. And there is no other way of achieving this but by consuming healthy foods, drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day, exercising three to five times a week and sleeping for six to eight hours a day.

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