Actinic Keratosis treatment, the role of food, diet and lifestyle factors
September 20 2017

Actinic keratosis is caused by sun exposure. It occurs most commonly in fair skin, especially in the elderly and in young people who have light skin. Sometimes a person can just scrape it off their skin with fingernails or sharp object rather than pay a doctor or dermatologist a lot of money.,

The role of diet and food consumption
Food intake, dietary patterns, and actinic keratoses of the skin: a longitudinal study
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009. From the Cancer and Population Studies Group, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Queensland, Australia; the School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Australia; and L'Oréal Recherche, Paris, France.
Actinic keratoses are premalignant actinic tumors of the skin. The objective was to determine whether intake of certain food groups or dietary patterns retard the occurrence of actinic keratosis over a 5-y period. In a community-based study of skin cancer in Queensland, Australia, food intake of 1119 adults was assessed in 1992, 1994, and 1996. Dermatologists counted prevalent actinic keratosis skin lesions during full-body skin examinations in 1992 and 1996. The relative ratio of AK counts in 1996 relative to 1992 was compared across increasing intakes of 26 food groups, and for 3 dietary patterns. All analyses were adjusted for confounding factors, including skin color and sun exposure indexes. Actinic keratosis skin lesion acquisition decreased by 28% among the highest consumers of oily fish (average of one serving every 5 d) compared with those with minimal intake. Similarly, the rate of acquisition of actinic keratosis was reduced by 27% in those with the highest consumption of wine (average of half a glass a day in this study population). There was no consistent association of dietary pattern with AK acquisition. Moderate intake of oily fish and of wine may decrease the acquisition of actinic keratosis skin lesions and thus complement sun protection measures in the control of actinic skin tumors.

Treatment
Actinic keratosis is a common premalignant skin lesion that is frequently treated by cryosurgery. Cryosurgery is still a mainstay of treatment, but the introduction of effective topical agents, imiquimod cream and ingenol mebutate, has provided alternatives to cryosurgery.

Medication
A cream version of an intravenous drug used to treat colon cancers and other tumors can be used to fight the skin damage caused by years of sun exposure.
The medication -- fluorouracil -- may also reduce the number of potentially precancerous skin patches known as actinic keratoses. Dr. Dana L. Sachs, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, enrolled 21 healthy people, aged 56 to 85, with actinic keratoses and sun damage were treated with a 5 percent fluorouracil cream for 2 weeks. Subjects saw the number of actinic keratoses drop by about 90 percent, and saw an improvement in symptoms such as wrinkles and sallow skin. Most patients said they were willing to undergo treatment again, even though the medication leads to temporary inflammation and discoloration of the skin. Archives of Dermatology, 2009.