Important Patient Information About Actinic Keratosis

You surely know that sun exposure can negatively impact your skin in a number of ways. One of the signs of sun damage is a condition called actinic keratosis. If you suspect this condition, it is important to make an appointment with an Orange County surgical center. They will provide a complete examination and help to determine the overall health of your skin. The Orange County surgery center can also help you with any necessary treatments for this condition.

What is Actinic Keratosis?

This is a skin condition that appears in the form of a scaly and rough patch. If you talk to an experienced doctor at an Orange County surgical center, they will tell you that this condition is most common on the face, ears, forearms, neck, lips, back of the hands and scalp. Most people are older than age 40 when the first patch develops and the patches take years to take form. Symptoms of this condition can include a dry, scaly or rough patch on the skin that is generally under one inch in diameter. Other symptoms sometimes include a bump or patch that is either slightly raised or flat, a patch that is red, brown or pink in color, a patch that might be hard and a patch that might burn or itch.

Frequent sun exposure over the course of many years is the most common cause. The exposure can be the natural sun or artificial, such as in tanning beds. If you suspect this condition, make sure to make an appointment at a reputable Orange County surgery center as soon as you can.

Getting a Diagnosis

In most cases, simply examining your skin is enough for your doctor to provide you with a diagnosis. However, your doctor might recommend additional testing to confirm actinic keratosis. For example, a skin biopsy is not uncommon and this is a relatively simple procedure. Your doctor can do it right in the office. It involves getting a small tissue sample from one of the patches on your skin. The procedure is relatively comfortable since a numbing medication is applied before the sample is taken.

Exploring the Treatment Options

Staying out of the sun is often enough for the condition to resolve on its own. However, if you go back to regular sun exposure, it can return. There is a chance that the patches can become cancerous, so it is important to use caution when you are in the sun. For cases where there are several patches, medications, photodynamic therapy or surgery might be recommended. Once you are diagnosed and treatment is started, your doctor will usually want to see you once a year. This allows them to keep an eye on your condition and perform an annual skin cancer examination.

Now you know more about the skin condition actinic keratosis that causes people to seek help from an Orange County surgical center. As soon as you notice changes in your skin, it is important to see a doctor. In many cases, prompt treatment has a positive impact on prognosis. Just make sure to see experienced dermatology doctors and surgeons for the best care, such as those at the Orange County surgery center