I have this red rash on my lower arm, that area that when you drive gets a lot of sun.The rash has been there for a couple of months, it doesnt ich and it is very flat. It is bigger than the circumference of a pencil.I noticed that when I strecht the kin, it disappears, so I believe it is more supercial. Should I be concerned?
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 33
Hi,Would it be possible to take a photograph of this rash at your convenience? If not do let me know and we can take it from there.
Thank you for the photographs. Your history and clinical picture are suggestive of a diagnosis of Actinic Keratosis. This is a skin lesion caused due to ultraviolet light damaging the skin. It is a precancerous lesion and therefore a skin biopsy is usually required to diagnose it accurately. The treatment options include 5-FU cream, Imiquimod cream or a procedure such as electrodessication or cryosurgery for established lesions. As these lesions have the potential to cause skin cancer later you must definitely show them to a doctor (preferably a dermatologist) and have them treated.It is not good to keep getting these lesions, so it is essential that you wear an SPF 50+, UVA +++ sunscreen everyday irrespective of whether you are going out into the sun or not (8 am, 12 pm and 4 pm). Taking Cap Beta Carotene 30 mg once a day is also helpful. This is a skin antioxidant containing beta carotene and helps protect the skin from the sun.Hope this information is useful, please feel free to ask if you have any queries.Please remember to only rate my answer when you are satisfied. If you have any queries, please respond via the REPLY button and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.
MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)
Dear Doctor Nair.
I just ran to a GP( here in the Netherlands you have to always see a GP before you see a specialist) and she told me that this is a kind of echzema. She said that the fact that when I strecht it disappears. She said that i shoulnt worry and gave me a prescription for a cream with cortison.
She said I dont need to see a dermatologist but I still want to.
Do you think a general practitioner would be able to recognize in case of Actinic Keratosis?
Hello again,A GP can often miss actinic keratosis and the redness in Actinic Keratosis also disappears on pressure or stretching the skin - it is not fixed. But given that she has to refer you to a specialist you can try the cortizone cream for a week or two - if I am right then patch will not disappear completely with it. You can then request a follow up with your GP and ask for a referral to a dermatologist. I think it is important you see one.P.S: Sorry about the delayed reply, am on Asia time.
Thank you. I have scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist today. In case it is actinic keratosis, what is the chance that it is already a cancer?
You're most welcome! I am very glad to hear that. The chances are next to nil - I think this is early stage actinic keratosis and you have nothing to worry about.