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Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis - What Causes It

Actinic Keratosis is seen especially in those who work outdoors, sailors, golfers, skiers and in those who have significant other recreational sun exposure.

The following are the two main causes of Actinic Keratosis:

1. Exposure To Carcinogenic Factors

A) Ultraviolet light - Most of this is from sunlight. Actinic keratoses are most commonly seen in fair skinned individuals who are unable to tan and is associated with an accumulated lifetime exposure to sun.

B) Ionizing radiation such as radiotherapy may also increase of skin cancers.

C) Chemicals such as arsenic increase the risk of skin cancers. Exposure is usually chronic and at low concentrations.

2. Genetic Syndromes

There are a number of rare genetic syndromes that increase the risk of skin cancers. For example, xeroderma pigmentosa results from a defect in DNA repair. This condition is associated with sun sensitivity, extensive freckling and the risk of all forms of skin cancers is up to 2,000 times that of the normal population.

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