Types of keratosis
Are you curious about that lesion on your skin? This extra thickening of keratin – a protein inherent in the skin – is commonly known as keratosis. In general, treatment is undertaken for the following reasons: to prevent its development into cancer or other malignant tumors; or in cases of benign keratosis, to eliminate discomfort or plainly to remove the presence of these unsightly skin blemishes. The most important things to consider before choosing the treatment that is right for you are to let an doctor identify your keratosis type and to find out its cause.
For your knowledge, there are three types of keratoses identified. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about these three types, namely, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis and keratosis pilaris plus their treatments.
The first on the list is actinic keratosis which is alternately referred to as “solar keratosis” and “senile keratosis”. This keratosis is characterized by the presence of thickened, rough bumps which greatly vary in color – but mostly reddish or brownish – on the skin of body parts constantly overexposed to the sun. Its most frequent causes are prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful rays and old age. Although this type is seldomly painful or itchy, this can progress into malignant conditions. Since this type eventually leads to skin cancer, it is a must to receive appropriate treatment. The treatment for actinic keratosis is, in general, its removal through the application of various agents such as drugs, cryogens like liquid nitrogen, laser, light or electric current or through surgery.
On the other hand, the formation in any part of the body but mostly on the chest and back of skin growths considerably the same as actinic keratosis is the main manifestation of seborrheic keratosis. However, from all its dissimilarities with actinic keratosis, the quality that stands out the most is its waxiness or greasiness. Another characteristic in contrast to actinic keratosis is its benign property. It is safe to say that your enemies are merely unsightliness and the effects of coming in contact with clothing such as itching, bleeding or skin inflammation. This is brought about either by genetic history or prolonged sun exposure.. Due to its inability to cause cancer, treatment is only optional. But if appearance is your worry, you can select among the following treatment modes. These are laser treatments, electrocautery, the use of surgical instruments, curettage or the use of cryogens.
Lastly, keratosis pilaris, commonly known as follicular keratosis, like seborrheic keratosis, has a genetic origin. This is also characterized by rough bumps on the skin, usually red and that are usually located at the back and outer arm. Due to the excess thickening of keratin, hair follicles are trapped in skin and eventually form into these tiny rock-like skin growths. Since it is not cancerous, treatments are utilized only for symptom management including itch and discomfort. These include photodynamic therapy, laser therapy or prescribed topical solutions or medications such as therapeutic cleansers, lotions or moisturizers, glycolic treatments, salycilic compounds or benzoyl peroxide – the last being commonly known for its use in pimples.
In sum, each type of keratosis has a number of corresponding treatments. However, if you do not want to experience the fear of acquiring skin cancer, the discomfort brought about by the itching or inflammation, or the ugliness it brings to your physical appearance, you have to ensure you take good care of your skin. And this basically means: eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and having enough sleep.