An extremely common type of pre-cancerous growth, Actinic Keratoses are usually found on patients with fair skin who have been exposed to sun excessively.
These growths are often slightly raised from the surface of the skin and usually feel rough varying in color between red, pink, and brown. Their diameter can range from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter in size.
These are usually found only on areas exposed to sunlight and are most common in older adults. Common sites tend to be the back of your hands, ears, face, and bald scalp. It is important to check these areas as these can be a warning sign indicating a danger of squamous cell carcinoma.
In fact, if left untreated, 10 to 20 percent of actinic keratoses can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. It’s never worth the risk to ignore a questionable growth on your skin, let the top dermatologists in Pittsburgh examine you at the Golla Center and give you peace of mind.
Actinic Keratoses Prevention
This condition is the cumulative effective of overexposure to harmful UV rays throughout your life. Remember to always wear sunscreen and protective clothing while outdoors. Sunscreen should be reapplied often as it can wash away with seat and exposure to water leaving you unprotected later in the day. Wide brimmed hats can also be an effective way to protect your face and ears from harmful rays.
Remember this is a slow process and every bit of prevention can help, you are never too old to make sunscreen a daily habit!
Lower Lip – Actinic Cheilitis
Actinic keratosis of this form usually appears on your lower lip. The exceptional danger with this condition is that the lips are mucous membranes, which will allow squamous cell carcinoma to develop more rapidly, therefore you need to seek treatment immediately.
Actinic Keratosis Treatment Options
(5-FU) 5-Fluorouracil is a topical chemotherapy agent with widespread use and many studies to attest to it’s safety as the internal effects it causes when applied on the surface of your skin are minimal.
Imiquimod stimulates your immune response and helps your bodies own defense mechanisms attack both pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.
Diclofenac is a more gentle topical gel treatment lasting several months.
Ingenol mebutate is a topical gel with proven results and the advantage that it only needs to be applied over the course of a few days.
Pittsburgh’s best Dermatologists, at the Golla Center for Dermatology are experts in treating actinic keratosis.
The earlier skin cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat.
Skin concerns shouldn’t be ignored, don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us right now for an appointment.