I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
Actinic keratosis is a skin condition marked by the development of rough, scaly skin patches on your ears, hands, face, scalp, neck and forearms. Typically caused by persistent exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, this condition has the potential to become cancerous. Luckily, there are many treatment options available for actinic keratosis. Here's a look at some of the options you can consider and discuss with your dermatologist.
Cryotherapy uses an application of liquid nitrogen directly on the affected part of your skin. The liquid nitrogen cools your skin to temperatures colder than -325 degrees Fahrenheit. It's typically applied through the use of cotton swabs or spray nozzles. When the liquid nitrogen is applied, it causes the skin to blister and peel.
In the days and weeks after the treatment, your skin will begin to heal. When the blisters and surface layers of skin peel away, it eliminates the damaged tissue and leaves behind fresh, new skin. In most cases, these treatments are done in a dermatologist's office.
The application of the nitrogen may result in some stinging initially due to the cold temperatures. The skin in the area may be tender for a few days following treatment, and your doctor may suggest keeping the treated area out of the sun until the blisters have come off and the surface skin starts to heal.
Depending on the type and extent of your actinic keratosis, you may be prescribed a medicated cream to apply to the skin on a regular basis. Topical creams are often very effective at treating these skin sores. You'll probably have to apply it a couple of times a day. The other thing to consider about this type of treatment is that it may take longer than surgery to eliminate the sores. Your dermatologist can tell you how long to expect based on the severity of your condition and the type of produce he or she prescribes. Some creams may require longer treatments to ensure that it doesn't return.
Electrodesiccation and Curettage
In some situations, you will undergo electrodesiccation and curettage to eliminate the actinic keratosis. In this process, a curette is used to scrape away the surface layer of the sore. The curette is a spoon-like tool with a sharp edge. Once the surface is scraped away, an electric needle is used to apply current to the area. This closes any blood vessels that may have broken and eliminates any residual precancerous cells. The process of applying the current is called electrodesiccation. Once this step is done, your dermatologist may repeat the curettage to clear away any more residual cells to clear away the sores.
Photodynamic treatments involve applying a photosensitizing agent to the sores. There are a few different products available that can be used, each of which absorbs light. The product is applied to the sore and then the sore is exposed to strong lights. Once the lights are applied, the topical product absorbs the light's energy. That energy is then directed at the precancerous cells in the actinic keratosis to kill those cells. This will prevent it from becoming cancerous. You may notice some redness and swelling after this type of treatment, but it's a beneficial option for facial sores and those on your scalp, where it's more difficult to use some other treatments.
When it comes to conditions like actinic keratosis and skin cancer, you should never take it lightly. The more proactive you can be about your care, the better your chances will be of a full recovery. Now that you understand the treatment options available to you, talk with your dermatologist to determine which one is the best choice based on your current condition. For more information on this skin condition or skin cancer surgery, contact a local dermatologist.Share
7 July 2015