Sunny keratosis

Sunny keratosis – pinkish-red, scaly, rough-textured skin growth, caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight; also called actinic keratosis.

The causes of sunny keratosis are photodamages of the skin, received throughout life. In the process of chronic insolation, there is damage to keratinocytes (cells of epithelial tissues), which promotes the development of actinic keratosis.

Prolonged UV exposure to the skin causes damage to the genetic material of the epithelial cells (keratinocytes), which later causes their mutation and leads to rapid blast transformation (the process of cell rebirth and their uncontrolled reproduction).

Damages have pinkish-red color and a rude structure. They usually appear in the open areas of the skin, such as the face, the back of the hands and on the bald part of the head. Usually, several damages occur simultaneously. Sometimes, sunny keratosis can promote the development of squamous cell carcinoma.

Forms of actinic keratosis

There are several forms of solar keratosis:

  • hypertrophic form;
  • atrophic form;
  • bowenoid form.

The hypertrophic form is completely innocent; it is rapidly curable and completely cured. With the development of this form, lesions are localized on the chest, hands, face, and neck.

The atrophic form has a more complex course. On the affected areas thick crust is formed, and histological examination of the biopsy material confirms the presence of atypical cells. There is also an enlargement of the tumor and a change it’s color.

The Bowenoid form is the heaviest. It manifests as a significant lesion both in the surface layer of the epidermis and in its deep layers. Sometimes the development of the tumor can affect the dermis, with subsequent inflammation and necrosis of tissues. Blood discharge can be observed not only when the tumor is injured, but also in a resting state.

Symptoms and stages of actinic keratosis

At first, significant symptoms may be absent. Then there is a slight rash in the form of spots or small papules. Their color varies from gray to brown. This disease does not cause any painful sensations, discomfort or itching. The next stage of development actinic keratosis is characterized by the formation of rough areas, which are determined by the touch of palpation. Then there are large seals in the form of nodes that tightly feet to each other. Visually such nodes resemble grape clusters. Nodes are localized mainly on open areas of the skin, which have been exposed to sunlight for a long time: on the face, neck, forearms, the back side of the hands.


If there are many lessons in a large area, you should use a special cream containing drugs for cancer with antitumor substance 5-fluorouracil (Efudix, Flonida 5% Cream). To reduce the risk of developing this disease, protect the skin from sunlight. Bald people and people, who have short and thin hair, should wear hats when they are outdoors. Prevention of actinic keratosis is to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and do regular examination by a dermatologist for the prevention and early diagnosis of malignant disease.