Tel: LO CALL: 1850 918 133

Dermatology

Actinic Keratosis

What is an actinic keratosis?

An actinic keratosis is a scaly spot found on sun-damaged skin. It is also known as solar keratosis. It is considered precancerous or an early form of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

 

What are the clinical features of actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis may be solitary but there are often multiple keratoses. The appearance varies.

  • A flat or thickened papule or plaque
  • White or yellow; scaly, warty or horny surface
  • Skin coloured, red or pigmented
  • Tender or asymptomatic

Actinic keratoses are very common on sites repeatedly exposed to the sun, especially the backs of the hands and the face, most often affecting the ears, nose, cheeks, upper lip, vermilion of the lower lip, temples, forehead and balding scalp. In severely chronically sun damaged individuals, they may also be found on the upper trunk, upper and lower limbs, and dorsum of feet.

 

Complications of actinic keratoses

The main concern is that actinic keratoses predispose to squamous cell carcinoma. It is rare for a solitary actinic keratosis to evolve to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but the risk of SCC occurring at some stage in a patient with more than 10 actinic keratoses is thought to be about 10 to 15%. A tender, thickened, ulcerated or enlarging actinic keratosis is suspicious of SCC.

 

What is the treatment for actinic keratoses?

Actinic keratoses are usually removed because they are unsightly or uncomfortable, or because of the risk that skin cancer may develop in them. Physical treatments are used to destroy individual keratoses that are generally symptomatic or have a thick hard surface scale. The lesions may recur in time, in which case they may be retreated by the same or a different method.

 

Liquid nitrogen spray is required to ensure adequate depth and duration of freeze. This varies according to lesion location, width and thickness. Healing varies from 5–10 days on face, 3–4 weeks on the hands, and 6 weeks or longer on the legs. A light freeze for a superficial actinic keratosis usually leaves no mark, but longer freeze times result in hypopigmentation or scar.

 

 

Shave, curettage (scraping with a sharp instrument) and electrocautery (burning) may be necessary to remove a cutaneoushorn or hypertrophic actinic keratosis. Healing of the wound takes several weeks or longer, depending on body site. A specimen is sent for pathological examination.

Excision ensures the actinic keratosis has been completely removed, which should be confirmed by pathology. The surgical wound is sutured (stitched). The sutures are removed after a few days, the time depending on the size and location of the lesion. The procedure leaves a permanent scar.

 

On DermNet NZ:

 

 

 

 

Ailesbury Dublin

David Lloyd Riverview,

1st Floor,

Beech Hill Road,
Donnybrook  Dublin 4.

Eircode DO4 AF10 (Google Map)

Tel:   (01)269 2255 / 2133

Email:reception@ailesburyclinic.ie

Fax: (01) 218 0857 

Image result for femme 360

 

  

 

Ailesbury Cork

Holbar House  

East Village Medical Cntre

Douglas, Cork 

Eircode T12 HK2C (Google Map)

Tel:   (01)269 2255 / 2133

Email:reception@ailesburyclinic.ie

Fax: (01) 218 0857

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, close-up

 

Congratulations to our own Ailesbury Doctor Dr Olga O' Driscoll coming 1st out of 100 doctors in the St. Mary's Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine and securing a mentorship under Dr. Adriano Santorelli in Naples.

 

Ailesbury Galway                   

 

Tel:   (01)269 2255 / 2133

Galway (091)568 555

Email:reception@ailesburyclinic.ie

Fax: (01) 218 0857

 

Specialists in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. We perform minor surgery + skin cancer screen. VHI, Aviva, Laya and Irish Health accepted. Hstopathology is covered by private insurance and performed by dedicated skin histopathologists at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin. Consultation €100  READ MORE 

 

Image result for emergency   For Emergency Ring 086 2487464 

                                                             Image result for vhi aviva