Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

Solar keratosis or actinic keratosis is a condition where the skin becomes rough, thickened, and scaly, due to exposure to sunlight for a long time or the use of tanning tools to blacken the skin.

actinic keratosis cancer

Solar keratosis is generally experienced by someone aged 40 years and over and people who often move in the sun for a long time. Actinic keratosis has grown slowly and does not cause symptoms. Although it is rare, this condition has the potential to cause skin cancer.

Causes of Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

Excessive exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet) is the main cause of actinic keratosis. Patients with diesel keratosis will occur more in people who often do activities in direct sunlight and people who like to use tanning beds or skin press tools.

Risk factor actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis can attack anyone. Even so, someone is more at risk of being exposed to these conditions if:

  • Over 40 years old.
  • Stay in a place exposed to sunlight.
  • Has a sensitive skin type.
  • Having a weak immune system, for example, due to cancer, HIV / AIDS, and the use of chemotherapy drugs or immunosuppressant drugs.

Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

Symptoms Actinic Keratosis generally appear on the skin that is often exposed to sunlight. Not everyone who often exposes the sun will experience actinic keratosis. But if it appears, some changes that can occur in the affected skin area are:

  • Rough and thickened skin, can even be like warts.
  • Scaly skin.
  • The skin changes color to reddish or brown.
  • Areas that experience abnormalities are generally 2.5 cm in diameter or smaller.

Actinic keratosis also hurts and causes itching or heat around the affected area of the skin. This skin disorder generally occurs in temples, foreheads, scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, arms, and backhands.

When to go to the doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if there is a change in the skin. Patients with Actinic Keratosis are also recommended to immediately meet a doctor if they experience symptoms that need to be watched out with the following:

  • There is unusual network growth on the surface of the skin.
  • Lumps arise or new skin tissue on the surface of the skin gets greater and painful or bloody.
  • Ever experienced previous actinic keratosis, and there were new spots on the skin.

Diagnosis of Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

In the initial stage of the examination, the doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced. Furthermore, the doctor will conduct a physical examination while watching the skin area that experiences abnormalities.

If there are still doubts and it is feared that the spots suffered are caused by other causes, dermatologists will carry out supporting checks. Supporting checks in the form of skin checks with biopsy and dermoscopy.

When making a dermoscopy, the doctor will use a magnifying microscope called a Dermatoscope to check the surface of the skin and the skin disorder that appears. In biopsy procedures, the doctor will take a patient's network sample to be further investigated in the laboratory.

Treatment of actinic keratosis (solar keratosis)

Usually, Actinic Keratosis can recover itself without medicine. Doctors can suggest sufferers use sunscreen and moisturizers so that the skin conditions are not worse. This is done to prevent recurrence if the skin is exposed to the sun continuously.

For certain cases, Actinic Keratosis needs to be handled with drugs, special therapy, and operating actions. The type of treatment is determined based on the number of solar keratoses experienced, thickness and location, and the health condition of the overall sufferer.


Medicines are used if there are many actinic keratoses on the surface of the skin. The diesel medicine for keratosis given is a topical drug (OLES) in the form of a cream or gel. These drugs include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory gel (NSAIDs), used for 3 months.
  • Fluorouracil cream, used for 3-4 weeks.
  • Salicylic acid shift drugs can be used with fluorouracil cream.
  • Imiquimod cream, used 2-3 times per week for 4-16 weeks.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

In this procedure, the doctor will apply chemicals to troubled skin. Then, the doctor will use special lights to destroy actinic keratosis. This therapy can cause side effects on the skin, in the form of redness, swelling, and sensation such as burning.


In this procedure, the doctor will use nitrogen fluid to freeze and lift actinic keratosis. Cryotherapy can cause areas that have a problem blistering, looks darker, skin texture changes arise scar tissue, and an infection occurs.

Operation action

For severe cases, the scraping operation might be suggested by the doctor as a solution to remove damaged cells. Initially, the doctor would provide an injection of local anesthesia in the patient, then erode the damaged cells on the surface of the skin using the curette.

The operation will continue with an electrosurgery action that aims to kill the tissue in an infected body using electricity. This operation can cause side effects in the form of infection, blisters, and changes in skin structure in the operated area.

Actinic Keratosis Complications (Solar Keratosis)

If treatment has been done correctly, Keratosis Solar rarely causes complications. However, in certain cases, these diesel shells of keratosis can turn into squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous cell cancer is a skin cancer that does not endanger life. However, this cancer can spread to the network and other organs if it is not treated correctly.

Prevention of Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

Self-protection from UV rays is very important to prevent the development and recurrence of actinic keratosis. If you are often on the move in the sun, it is strongly recommended to take the following precautions:

  • Use waterproof sunscreen and contain SPF 30. Apply in the body parts that are often exposed to the sun evenly.
  • Limit activity in the sun directly between 10 am to 3 pm because the ultraviolet light emitted is very high.
  • Protect the skin from sun exposure with long-sleeved clothes, trousers, socks, covered shoes, jackets, and hats.
  • Avoid using tanning beds. The tanning tool can emit ultraviolet light and radiation that can damage the skin.
  • Perform skin checks regularly if your skin is problematic so that it can be directly addressed if the symptoms of diesel keratosis are detected.

Thus the discussion about actinic keratosis (solar keratosis). Remember to visit Thumbs Health for the latest updates on health, healthy lifestyles, and different types of the disease and its treatment.

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