|Grzybowski syndrome, or generalized eruptive KA||hundreds of KA-like lesions appear at one time on the body||unknown|
|Muir-Torre syndrome||KA tumors are present in association with internal cancer||inherited|
|Multiple self-healing squamous epitheliomas of Ferguson-Smith||recurring skin cancers, such as KA suddenly appear and often spontaneously regress, resulting in pitted scars||inherited, but rare|
If you notice a changing or growing colored patch on your skin, contact a doctor or dermatologist.
It’s possible for your doctor to diagnose KA by looking at it, but because of its strong resemblance to SCC, an invasive type of skin cancer, your doctor may prefer to do a biopsy.
This means your doctor will want to cut out the KA for examination. This process involves numbing the KA with a local anesthetic before removing enough of the lesion to test with a scalpel or razor. The sample is then evaluated to form a diagnosis.
KA will go away on its own, but this can take many months. Your doctor may recommend surgery or medication to remove KA.
Treatment options depend on the location of the lesion, the patient’s health history, and the size of the lesion. The most common treatment is a minor surgery, under a local anesthetic, to remove the tumor. This may require stitches, depending on the size of the KA.
Other treatments include:
- If you have cryosurgery, your doctor will freeze the lesion with liquid nitrogen to destroy it.
- If you have electrodesiccation and curettage, your doctor will scrap or burn off the growth.
- If you have Mohs’ microscopic surgery, your doctor will continue to take tiny pieces of skin until the lesion is completely removed. This treatment is most often used on the ears, nose, hands, and lips.
- Doctors use radiation treatment and X-ray therapy for people who are unable to have a surgical procedure for other health reasons.
Medications are used if you aren’t considered a good candidate for surgery. Doctors can prescribe drugs for people who have numerous lesions.
The medical treatments include:
- intralesional methotrexate
- injecting a folic acid that halts DNA synthesis and kills cancer cells
- intralesional 5-fluorouracil, which is an injection that blocks cancer cells from reproducing
- topical 5-fluorouracil
- bleomycin, which is an anti-tumor agent that blocks cell cycles
- a 25 percent solution of podophyllin
- oral acitretin, or chemical vitamin A
- oral isotretinoin (Accutane)
These medications can reduce the size and the number of lesions, making the removal treatments or surgeries easier and less invasive. They aren’t a substitute for actual surgery or other removal treatments. Ask your doctor about any side effects these medications may cause.
Home care involves treating the site of the tumor after it’s removed to help the skin in the area heal. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions, including to keep the area dry and covered while it heals.
The treatment doesn’t stop completely after the lesion is removed. Once you’ve had KA, it’s common for it to reoccur, so you’ll want to regularly go to follow-up appointments with your dermatologist or primary care physician. Maintaining healthy habits to protect your skin from the sun can help prevent reoccurring lesions.
KA is curable and isn’t life-threatening. The majority of KA lesions will only cause cosmetic scars at their worst.
However, some may spread to lymph nodes if left untreated. If it spreads, the risks increase significantly with less than a 20 percent 10-year survival rate. If cancer spreads from one location to another, then there’s less than a 10 percent chance for a 10-year survival rate.
People who develop KA are at a higher risk for future episodes. If you’ve had a KA tumor or lesion, schedule regular visits with your doctor so you can quickly identify and treat KA growths at an early stage. The doctor you see can be a dermatologist or a doctor with experience examining the skin for skin cancer and lesions.
If you’re concerned about a lesion or unusual mole, make an appointment with your doctor. Similarly, if a spot suddenly changes form, color, or shape, or starts to itch or bleed, ask your doctor to check it.
You can take steps to prevent KA by protecting your skin from the sun. Staying out of the sun in the middle of the day can help reduce direct sun exposure. You’ll also want to avoid any artificial UV lights, such as those that come from tanning beds.
Wear clothing that covers large portions of your skin and sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. You’ll want to make sure that your sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB light.
You can also regularly examine your skin for new or growing moles or colored patches. If you’re concerned about KA, make regular appointments with your doctor or dermatologist so that they can detect and promptly remove any KA tumors.
Medically Reviewed by: [Ljava.lang.Object;@7b9b3316
Published: Jan 13, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.