Dramatic Increase in Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer May be Linked to Actinic Keratosis

 By: Grant Ferns
Recent studies have shown that nonmelanoma skin cancers are on the rise. In fact, a study published in Archives of Dermatology claimed that the amount of procedures performed for nonmelanoma cancers had risen almost 50% from 1992 to 2006. Based on these numbers, experts assure us that we are in the midst of an epidemic.

The types of skin cancers that were assessed during this study were mainly keratinocyte carcinomas (that is, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas). Most of the people under observation developed cancer due to voluntary exposure to UV radiation. This comes as no real surprise if you consider the worldwide obsession society has with sunbathing.

Due to these findings, it has become evident that the importance of self-exams is no longer an option, but an obligation if you're concerned about your health or skin. For example, if you aren't aware of even the slightest changes in your skin you won't spot precancerous lesions, like actinic keratosis. When this type of skin condition arises you should treat it as soon as possible because it can lead to cancer (specifically squamous cell carcinoma).

Actinic Keratosis Treatment and Actinic Keratosis Symptoms

Actinic keratosis usually appears in older people. This is due to the fact that it is very slow to develop. When it does show up you will notice dry, scaly patches of skin.

Generally, these patches will disappear if you stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. But, they always come back. This fact is what keeps many people from consulting a doctor since they believe that they only have dry skin or an intermittent rash.

Diagnosis is the first and most important step towards treatment. The doctor will usually biopsy a piece of the skin that seems to be affected. Depending on the results, the doctor may indicate cryosurgery or dermabrasion to remove the lesions or topical chemotherapy drugs to treat the lesions.

Your doctor may also prescribed drugs that can help boost your immune system so that your body rejects precancerous growths. Whatever the final decision, you will still need to limit your exposure to the sun and use a powerful sunscreen.

Skin Care Products Used to Treat Actinic Keratosis

Another type of treatment that has been used in this type of situation are natural skin care products. For example, biological skin creams made with snail serum have been used to help repair damaged skin and reduce inflammation. These types of products can be used in conjunction with dermatological treatments to cover an array of different skin care needs.

Actinic keratosis prevention is always preferable to treatment, in fact, it's as easy as applying your favorite sunscreen. This simple step may be all you need to avoid the elevated costs of treating skin cancer.
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