St Michael’s Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2HE  
The Lodge, Farley Road, Much Wenlock TF13 6NB
01743 590019

Lumps and Bumps

Moles & Lesions

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

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Also known as Solar Keratoses, Actinic keratoses are areas of sun-damaged skin found predominantly on sun-exposed parts of the body, particularly the backs of the hands and forearms, the face and ears, the scalp in balding men and the lower legs in women.

The terms actinic and solar are from Greek and Latin, respectively, for ‘sunlight-induced’, and the term keratosis refers to thickened or horny skin. They are usually harmless but there is a very small risk of some actinic keratoses progressing to a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratoses generally do not occur as individual lesions but rather as patchy change within a sundamaged area of skin.

They are caused by excessive sun exposure over many years (from sunbathing, sunbed use, outdoor work or recreational activities) and are therefore more common in older people. Fair-skinned, blue-eyed, red- or blonde-haired individuals, who burn easily in the sun but tan poorly, are at particular risk.

In the UK actinic keratoses are generally considered a precancerous skin condition lying at the mild end of a spectrum of skin disease ranging from precancerous actinic keratosis through superficial ‘in-situ’ squamous cell skin cancer (Bowen’s disease) to invasive squamouns cell carcinoma of the skin.

Treatments for Actinic Keratosis include a number of topical treatment options; 5 fluorouracil (Efudix) cream, Imiquimod (Aldara or Zyclara) cream, Diclofenac (Solaraze) Gel and Picato (Ingenol Mebutate) Gel.

Other options include; Cryotherapy, Photodynamic Therapy and Skin surgery (Curettage and Cautery).

Dr Murdoch uses all of these treatment options in his practice and will decide with patients the best treatment option in their case.

Before and after photos of Aktinic Keratoses treated with curettage and cautery to the large lesion and then Efudix Cream to the rest of the forhead.

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