Keratoacanthoma – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 27 01:02 2019 Print This Article

Keratoacanthoma is a type of skin cancer confined to the skin. These skin tumors grow from the hair follicle and usually grow quickly. They are more common in men. It is more commonly found to occur in men. Earlier it was regarded as benign but it has been found that some of the tumors transform into squamous cell carcinoma. It is now being treated and regarded as a malignant growth. Keratocanthoma is characterized by rapid enlargements and is followed by a stable period and then a slow regression. Keratoacanthomas begin as small pimple-like bumps on the skin.

The center of the growth is crater-like and solid. However, keratoacanthomas grow very quickly, and can be over 2.5 cm (1 in.) wide within one to two months. Sunlight, chemical carcinogens, Trauma and genetic factors are the main causes of keratoacanthoma. Treatment options include surgical excision, electrodessication and curettage, and multiple medical techniques. Topical 5% fluorouracil cream applied three times a day for 1 to 6 weeks has been found to be effective. Excellent results have been reported with 5-fluorouracil injections. This technique is especially useful for large rapidly growing KA’s. Podophyllin resin, methotrexate intralesional injections, and radiotherapy are effective for giant KA’s. Oral isotretinoin and oral etretinate have been shown to be useful in treating patients with multiple KA’s.

Causes of Keratoacanthoma

Sun exposure appears to be the major factor contributing to KAs. Various chemical carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) have been shown to contribute to its incidence. KAs occur much more frequently in men than in women, usually in their 70s.

Find common causes and risk factors of Keratoacanthoma:

  • Sunlight is thought to be a factor in the development of keratoacanthomas.
  • Sometimes minor trauma to the skin occurs before the development of a keratoacanthoma.
  • Keratoacanthomas are more common in people who smoke.
  • Industrial workers exposed to pitch and tar have been well established as having a higher incidence of KA.

Treatment for Keratoacanthoma

Treatment may include:

  • Keratoacanthomas are treated by removing the growth. Surgery Surgical excision is recommended in that KA cannot always be distinguished from SCC on clinical findings.
  • Radiation therapy may be useful in selected patients with large tumors in whom resection will result in cosmetic deformity or for tumors that have recurred following attempted excisional surgery.
  • Systemic retinoids, such as isotretinoin, are a consideration for patients with lesions too numerous for surgical intervention.
  • Keratoacanthomas are treated by removing the growth.
  • Freezing If a keratoacanthoma is small it may be treated by freezing with liquid nitrogen with a spray or on a cotton wool swab.
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