Keratosis Skin Problem – Overview of Different Types
The keratosis skin condition is an overgrowth of keratin on the skin. Keratin is a tough and fibrous insoluble protein that is the main structural component of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), nails, and hair. When the keratin component of the skin grows faster than it should then a keratosis develops. There are several different forms of this skin problem.
Keratosis pilaris is perhaps the most well known. Many people refer to this type of keratosis as chicken skin or chicken skin rash or goose flesh. The reason for this is that the skin that is affected by pilaris has the appearance of the skin on a chicken or like goose bumps. The bumps are small, flesh colored or white, and many of them are usually present at once. In some people, the small bumps may be red and inflamed. Often the bumps are described as acne-like or as having a sandpaper texture. They are painless and generally do not itch.
Seborrheic keratosis is a skin growth that is often mistaken for skin warts. However, this type of keratosis is not a wart because it does not contain the wart-causing virus. The growth is benign and will not progress to skin cancer. It is not contagious and the cause for the most part is unknown. There is a suspected hereditary and sun exposure link, although these growths can appear on non-sun exposed skin areas as well.
Actinic keratosis is sometimes referred to as solar keratosis, sunspots, actinic keratoses, or AKs. It is a growth that appears on the surface or slightly beneath the surface of the skin. The growth or horn may be crusty or scaly and generally has a rough texture and may be flat. The color of the growth can vary and may be the skin tone of the individual or red, tan, or pink in light or dark shades.
Senile keratoses symptoms are characterized by papules or small flat bumps rising slightly from the skin’s surface. These papules have sharp outlines and are generally gray or grayish black in color, but they have been described as being red or pink as well. The growths are often named senile warts because they can be soft and wart or mole like in appearance. The affected skin may be dry with localized scaling of the skin. The growths are not painful.
Actinic cheilitis is related to actinic keratosis, but the lips are the target area affected. The symptoms include lips that are always dry or chapped and crack often. The lips are also very wrinkled and painless lesions, sores, or ulcers are present on the lips. Although red patches may be present, the affected lips are often pale pink with whitish plaques present. Puffiness of the lips is common as well.
Follicular keratosis can be referred to by many other names. Examples are keratosis follicularis, darier disease, dariers disease, or darier’s disease, to name a few. This type of keratosis originates from the hair follicle in the skin. It commonly affects the hands, face (ears, sides of the nose, forehead), scalp, neck, chest, back, thighs, groin, and abdomen. It is hereditary and this genetic disorder is considered rare.