What is a verrucous keratosis definition? It is a serious skin condition that affects the epidermis and appears in the form of warts – skin’s major outgrowths. Most sufferers and even healthcare specialists confuse this disease with seborrheic keratosis. It is true that they both have much in common except the causal wart. The latter condition normally occurs in old. It is treated as a non-cancerous outgrowth which never spreads to other parts of the body.
Types of Verrucous Keratosis
Dermatologists define three main types of the condition that may occur in different patients these days:
Acquired: the condition is normally influenced by ray, chemical and mechanic factors. Verrucous keratosis appears on exposed skin areas (mainly hands). Radiologists and X-ray technicians suffer from the condition the most, when after 20 years of work they have wart outgrowths colored yellow on skin.
Geriatric: it occurs in old people and is regarded as a precancerous skin condition. This type is rare, yet still it transforms into skin cancer and is characterized by dry or very oily yellow or brown-colored warts. Their sizes are up to 2 cm. The disease affects the palms of hands and soles of feet. Keratosis is characterized by the appearance of yellow or green-colored layers that are diffusely placed all over the palms and soles. The condition may be rather painful and even bleeding. As a rule the issue occurs as a result of cancer or syphilis.
Hereditary: it always appears in childhood and progresses gradually. The affected skin areas are palms of hands and soles of feet. Other affected body spots are knees and elbows.
What Causes Verrucous Keratosis?
There are several serious diseases that verrucous keratosis is usually associated with. Whenever the wart appears on the skin, it is important to undergo a medical check-up as a sufferer may have:
- radiation-related disorder;
- actinic/solar/pilaris/seborrheic keratosis;
- bladder cancer;
- esophagus cancer;
- colon cancer;
- lung cancer.
Though keratosis is frequently associated with such conditions, some of the other triggers remain unknown. The condition often occurs due to:
- stress that leads to benign growths;
- durable and frequent sun exposure: UV rays are the core reason of this skin disease;
- gastro-intestinal issues (their role hasn’t been completely proven yet);
- mutation of the gene that is responsible for the growth factor.
The above-mentioned causes were discovered during the course of experiments and observations. Clear trials and researches haven’t been conducted yet. It means that whatever skin changes are observed, it’s important to contact a doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Verrucous Keratosis
The first signs and symptoms may occur at any age. Though children and older people may suffer from the condition as well, it is proven that the diseases affects the skin of 40-45 year old ones. The core symptom reported by most sufferers is itching around the outgrowths.
The condition can amalgamate with periodontitis and lead to:
- tooth loss;
- degeneration of processus alveolaris;
- nerve damage;
- skeletal structure damage;
- changes in mucous membrane;
- changes of teeth/hair/nails.
Really small outgrowths are found in many people. They may not require medical treatment, if they are non-malignant verrucous keratosis.
Verrucous Keratosis Treatment: Professional and Home Remedies
It is said that in most cases benign verrucous keratosis requires no treatment at all. With time the growths become less visible and definitely better. However, when the warts keep growing, medical check-up is needed to treat and remove. Address a dermatologist immediately, when the itching is too severe.
This kind of treatment is prescribed most often. It includes different methods and therapies that can help in revealing first symptoms and eliminating small growths. The treatment course may include:
- diet: it is important to consume products that are rich in Vitamins A, B and C as well as in healthy fats;
- warm baths with baking soda, starch and sodium chlorides;
- soothing ointments like salicylic, sulfur- salicylic and with Vitamin A;
- creams with sodium chloride solution;
- soda baths are frequently prescribed for severe conditions;
- UV radiation is one of the effective options for the treatment of most types of verrucous
All the above-mentioned procedures are conducted in repeated sessions that last for 2 months. Minor growths are removed by other methods: electrocoagulation, cryosurgical operation, scraping or excision.
Acquired types of the condition are treated after addressing the causes that triggered growth formation. At the same time geriatric conditions may require an ongoing monitoring by an oncologist.
Ablative or Destructive Treatment
Professional check-ups are a must before deciding on any removal method. When improperly treated, verrucous keratosis can lead to skin cancer. Timely treatment allows avoiding basal cell or squamous cell cancer.
- Cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen use
This is one of the most widely-spread methods for wart treatment. However, it is never chosen for hyperkeratotic formations. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the affected skin areas with the help of a cryotherapy apparatus. It may also be applied with the help of a cotton ball. The procedure is easily done in the out-patient setting. It shows excellent results.
- Radio-wave-, electro- and diathermic laser destruction
- Photodynamic therapy
It includes the application of a special photosensitizing methyl aminolevulinate agent that is followed by the exposure to the light of a certain wavelength. This leads to tissue necrosis. Such therapy is well-tolerated and brings excellent cosmetic results.
- Surgical removal
Specialists carry out the skin cleaning with special tools.
- Chemical peeling
It is done with the help of Jessner solution which consists of resorcinol, salicylic and lactic acid in ethanol.
The affected skin areas are removed with a special fast-moving abrasive brush.
- Phototherapy (IPL) and fractional photothermolysis
Keratosis cells coagulation by means of the light energy. It is used in cases of initial verrucous keratosis stages.
An effective homemade remedy is the use of Aloe Vera. When combined with other methods, it allows eliminating small growths. You should cut several large leaves from the plant’s bottom part. Wrap them in a clean cloth and put in a freezer for 3 days. Defreeze the leaves, cut them into thin pieces and apply to the affected skin. Fix the compress with a bandage for the night. Wipe the area with salicylic alcohol in the morning.
How Is Verrucous Keratosis Prevented?
Caution must be taken, if you already have some small or large growths or you are predisposed to their occurrence. As dermatologists know little about the real causes, the preventive measures are general rather than precise. Here are some of them:
- regardless of age, apply sun-screen lotions. This tip refers to old people the most as they can have cancer-related growths;
- if you have growths, small or large, never itch them, otherwise they will get bigger;
- avoid severe health complications that can lead to the condition, especially gastric diseases;
- mind what you eat as the consumed food has its reflection on your body and skin. Eat healthy food to avoid severe health issues;
- manage stress and depression, if any. They are the sources of most health problems both old and young people suffer from. Happy people have fewer illnesses.
Verrucous keratosis becomes a real issue for those, who don’t start the treatment course when the first problems occur. Whenever the first signs are noticed, it is important to have a full medical check-up to start the treatment course, preserve the beauty of skin and its health.