Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis is a skin condition that is often seen on the face, the nose, the ears, and arms. This condition can be painful and unsightly and is usually located on surface areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun.  Keratosis is also known as Solar Keratosis.  The causes of keratosis generally point to excess exposure to the sun, although there may be other causes.

Those who have very fair skin are considered to be at greater risk for keratosis.  These spots are pre-cancerous damage on the skin. There are various types of keratosis that can develop on the skin in addition to the reddish spots which tend to be the size of a pencil tip or an eraser. Some additional conditions include a horny type of growth that sticks out from the skin. This condition is called cutaneous horns. This horny and callused growth can extend from an area of keratosis spots.

Additional causes of keratosis include the medical treatment prescribed for psoriasis, which uses ultra violet lights and the chemicals (psoralens) and organ transplant patients and those with suppressed immune systems are also more susceptible to keratosis. Whatever the cause of keratosis is, it can be treated. Procedures to treat keratosis are not considered to be a cosmetic surgery by your insurance company but it is a medically required procedure. The sooner the rash is treated the better, as there is a 5% to 10% risk that the keratosis rash will develop into cancer.

Related excess sun exposure side effects such as wrinkles are often associated with keratosis. Those who have experienced keratosis in the past are recommended to avoid sun exposure. The risk of cancer can be greatly reduced and even be eliminated through removing the keratosis spots and by avoiding additional sun exposure. Because the cause of keratosis is most commonly directly connected with sun exposure, fair skinned individuals should be aware that excess sun exposure places them at a greater risk for pre-cancerous conditions such as solar keratosis.