Actinic keratosis is considered to be the most common precancerous skin disease. This occurs all over the world, depending on the location and the type of skin the person has. Actinic keratosis develops in a lot of Caucasians because of their fair skin type. The rate is higher with men because they tend to spend a lot of time under the sun without any skin protection compared to women.
This skin disease is also considered to be the first stages of a serious skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratosis is also known as solar keratosis because it is caused by the UV rays of the sun. The sun is not the only cause of actinic keratosis but also tanning devices or sunbeds which several women use in substitute of sun bathing. They do not appear immediately when one is exposed too much to the sun but the damage accumulate and they appear when one reaches age 30 at earliest and around 40 for others. They do not grow rapidly but slowly and the larger they get if they are left untreated. There are other cases in which some actinic keratosis remains dormant but should never be ignored. At first glance they look like sunburn but taking precautions, one should seek medical attention.
There are different methods of prevention and treatment for actinic keratosis. For prevention, one should refrain from exposing themselves too much to the sun. The best time to take shade would be around 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon when the sun is at its strongest. Sunscreen with SPF15 or higher is recommended for everyday use. When applying sunscreen, take 1 ounce and apply it all over the body thirty minutes before going outside. Reapply it after another two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming. Protect your eyes with good pair of sunglasses while covering the head with a wide-brimmed hat. Newborn babies should be kept out from the rays of the sun. Most of all, avoid tanning devices as they are one of the common things that promote actinic keratosis.
When one has found out about having actinic keratosis, they should immediately visit their doctor and be examined. Depending on the situation of the actinic keratosis, the doctor will recommend what is best suited for the patient – either they go for surgery or apply chemicals to the affected area to remove actinic keratosis completely. For ointments or creams, topical cream is effective especially when there are many actinic keratoses to be treated, and actinic keratosis removal cream leaves no scars. Others involve curettage, chemical peels, shave removal and cryosurgery.
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