Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis or solar keratosis is
benign skin disease occurring in humans
after 50 years. Actinic keratosis is formed in open areas.
skin that is intensely exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
The appearance of actinic keratosis on the skin indicates excessive
photodamage of the skin. Recently observed
disappointing growth trend of solar keratosis. It’s connected with
excessive passion for tanning beds and sunbathing. TO
Unfortunately, this disease appears not only in older people,
but also in the young. Most often actinic keratosis develops in humans.
cI, II, III skin phototypes (Fitzpatrick). Don’t forget
that actinic keratosis is a precancerous condition that
Some cases transform into squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.


  • Causes of actinic keratosis
  • Symptoms, types and forms of actinic keratosis
  • Diagnosis of the disease
  • Treatment of actinic keratosis
  • Disease prevention

Causes of actinic keratosis

Causes of solar keratosis are photodamage
skin obtained in the process of a lifetime. In the process of chronic
insolation occurs damage to keratinocytes (epithelial cells
tissue), which contributes to the development of actinic keratosis.


Prolonged exposure to UV radiation on the skin causes
damage to the genetic material of epithelial cells
(keratinocytes), which later becomes the cause of their mutation and
leads to rapid blast transformation (the process
cell rebirth and their uncontrolled reproduction).

There is a risk group that includes people with the following

  • people prone to impaired skin pigmentation;
  • people prone to the hereditary manifestation of the disease;
  • Persons with I, II, and III skin phototype;
  • people who received skin photodamage during their lives, and
    whose labor activity was associated with a long
    spending time in open air under direct solar
  • persons overly fond of tanning in tanning beds.

Symptoms, types and forms of actinic keratosis

At first, significant symptoms may be absent. Then
there is a slight rash in the form of spots or small papules. Their
The color varies from gray to brown. The disease is not
causes no pain, discomfort or itching.
The next stage of development of actinic keratosis is characterized by
the formation of rough areas that are determined by touch
palpation. Then there are large seals in the form of nodes,
that fit snugly together. Visually such nodes
resemble grapes. Localized nodes mainly
on open skin areas that have been exposed for a long time
solar radiation: on the face, forearms, neck, back
hand side. There are five types of actinic keratosis:

  • horny;
  • erythematous;
  • papillomatous or warty;
  • hypertrophic;
  • pigmentary;
  • horny

There are also several forms of solar keratosis:

  • hypertrophic form;
  • atrophic form;
  • bowenoid form.

Hypertrophic form is the most innocuous, it quickly gives in
treatment and completely cured. With the development of this form of foci
lesions are localized on the face, chest, neck, hands.

Atrophic form has a more complex course. On affected
areas form thick crusts, and histological examination
biopsy confirms the presence of atypical cells. Also observed
the growth of tumors and change its color.

Bowenoid form is the most severe. It manifests itself
significant damage to both the surface layer of the epidermis, and
its deep layers. Sometimes the development of tumors can affect
dermis, with subsequent inflammation and tissue necrosis. Bloody
discharge can be observed not only with trauma
neoplasms, but also at rest.


Diagnosis of the disease

Diagnosis of the disease is based on a clinical examination,
digital dermatoscopy (diagnosis of special skin diseases
apparatus), ultrasound of the skin and histological examination. Should
differentiate solar keratosis with vulgar wart,
squamous skin cancer, discoid lupus erythematosus, disease
Bowena, seborrheic keratosis, basal cell skin cancer,

Treatment of actinic keratosis

Since it is impossible to anticipate the further development of the disease,
removal of lesions is recommended.

Actinic keratosis is removed by the following methods:

  1. Cryodestruction with liquid nitrogen. This painless,
    the short time method is the most
    demanded in the treatment of actinic keratosis. After removal
    keratosis may appear hyperemic scar.
  1. Curettage The method is characterized by the use of special
    tool – curettes, with which help the scraped
    plots. This method does not apply in case of localization
    actinic keratosis on the face, because after scraping
    a visible scar is formed.

Conservative local treatment of keratosis is
using creams, ointments containing fluorouracil. Data
drugs destroy damaged cells of solar keratosis,
contributing to the neutralization of negative cellular processes. Good
the effect is observed when using the drug Imiquimod, it
activates the protective functions of the skin, which in turn
causes independent rejection of keratotic crusts.
Chemical peels and dermabrases help to soften and
destruction of the upper layer of the epidermis, followed by elimination
actinic keratosis. Photodynamic treatment method
involves the introduction of a photosensitizing agent followed by
laser irradiation to eliminate the lesion. However all
The above methods do not guarantee re-development.
diseases. In some cases, relapses occur. By this
Reason Prevention is necessary.

Disease prevention

Prevention of actinic keratosis is to protect the skin from
ultraviolet radiation, and in regular inspection
dermatologist for the prevention and early diagnosis
malignant disease.

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