Keratoacanthoma can be defined as low grade malignant skin growth which rarely grows into cancerous cells. This disease is less common and it occurs on 1 person in 1000 on average. However this disease serves as the indication for autosomal familial cancer syndrome. Often it is seen only on fair complexioned people and men are more prone to get this problem than women.
Keratoacanthoma proceeds slowly in the form of skin growth which appears as small lesions or lumps. It can be considered as less famous type of cell cancer and it causes nominal injury to the skin. Only in rare cases it spreads deeply into the lymph nodes.
Small tiny lesions are seen on the back of hands, face, ears, and lower legs and even on scalp. It is a slow process and it may take 4-6 weeks for the lesions to develop on the skin. It starts as small dome shaped lesions that have a groove in the center. The size of the bumps may vary from 1-3 cm in diameter. After some weeks, the lesions shrink leaving behind a scar on the skin. It will be itchy but mostly it would not cause any pain. It may be either single spreading evenly on the skin or form as cluster on the same place.
Exposure to sunlight is the main cause for getting keratoacanthoma. Certain chemicals and allergens can also trigger formation of red lesions. Injury or trauma can be the reason for getting KC. It starts on single hair follicle on the skin and slowly spreads to other follicles damaging more and more skin. This disease resembles very much like squamous cell carcinoma or symptoms of Muir Torre syndrome.
Who Are At Risk?
Those who are working in environment that has lot of pitch and tar molecules may get keratoacanthoma cancer. Exposure to sunlight can aggravate this disease. It can be caused due to genetic factor and those who are predisposed to this disease from their parents.
It is difficult to diagnose Keratoacanthoma since many times it is confused with SCC or basal cell carcinoma. Since it looks very much like skin cancer, your doctor will have to confirm the disease by doing biopsy of the skin.
Surgery is the main option for treating keratoacanthoma. Other treatments are provided only if surgical option is not possible like in the case of multiple bumps. In that case, retinoid like isotretinoin is given instead of surgery for treating multiple lesions. In some cases, steroids are useful for treating patients without surgical option.
- Surgery :
The tumor or lesions or bumps is surgically removed from the body. Tumors of medium length like 3-6 mm can be surgically excised. Before proceeding with surgery, the doctor will examine the biopsy result for confirming that lesions are not squamous cell carcinoma and only keratoacanthoma. Small sized lesions are treated using curettage or applying liquid nitrogen which would freeze it to wither off from the body. For treating large sized lesions, Moh’s surgical therapy is administered to remove lesions located in face and hands.
Radiation therapy is given for lesions since they are effective in getting rid of lesions. Large sized tumors and tumors appearing in cosmetic areas like face or neck are treated by this method. But radiation always has side effects. Managing the tumor with radiation is done only for patients who have difficulty with surgical process. In case of tiny tumors, cryo-therapy and laser treatment is the best option.
Pictures of Keratoacanthoma :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Keratoacanthoma
- Antineoplastics are useful for treating multiple tumors appearing on the body in important cosmetic regions like face and even on lower legs for women. The drugs are given for a month, followed by surgical removal of the tumors.
- Medications prescribed for tumors are methotrexate like Trexall, fluorouracil like Adrucil and Bleomycin. Retinoid that are frequently used for KC are Isotretinoin like Claravis and Amnesteem along with other form of therapy like laser or radiation treatment.
- Topical ointments that contain imiquimod is the right choice for treating Keratoacanthoma tumors.
- The mode of treatment depends on the intensity of tumor and several factors like age, sex and health condition of the patient. Not one treatment method is effective and hence combined therapy is given.
- It is not sure that keratoacanthoma tumor is completely destroyed after surgery. You need to follow the instructions of your doctor who will monitor the skin closely for any further growth. Further you need to stay away from sunlight to escape from further damage.