I've had a small red spot on my cheek for over a year. It hasn't grown, hasn't done anything but look a bit unsightly and get irritated when I'm too rough with my cleansing routine. I'm reasonably certain that it's actinic keratosis, and from what I've found on various medical articles the most common treatment is cryotherapy or salicylic acid.
Would a wart remover patch or Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away do the trick? I'd hate to have to shell out $100+ just to get a common lesion burned off if I can do the same thing at home.
It looks nearly identical to this--
asked byNemesis (11157)
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on July 15, 2012
at 03:30 PM
Looks like you've probably self diagnosed it correctly. Good photo. It could also be a superficial basal cell carcinoma, Bowen's disease, or less likely a benign lichenoid keratosis, among other things.
A VERY small percentage of AKs (commonly quoted statistics are about 1% of untreated AKs within 10 years, although recent studies indicate it is probably slightly higher than this) will go on to become a squamous cell cancer. They (AKs) can regress with diligent use of sunscreen; it's an abnormality in DNA from the UV exposure, with protection, there is a chance that your intrinsic repair mechanisms will actually repair this.
If you want to wait until you have more stuff to go to the doctor for, this is unlikely to need immediate attention. Of course, this is not to be construed as medical advice, etc etc etc. If it gets thicker, starts becoming overtly painful, or bleeds with minimal trauma, it needs to be evaluated immediately.
on July 16, 2012
at 02:51 AM
I just saw my dermatologist about this. Since I didn't want him to remove it right then (I was getting married the next day), he recommended over-the-counter treatments with either of the following:
Aqua Glycolic Acid
AmLactin - alpha-hydroxy acid product, but stronger than the usual stuff.
I haven't done either yet, so I can't tell you how well it works, just that those recs are straight from my doctor. Hope this helps. :)
(Also, I second the recommendation to see a dermatologist - they can sometimes go nuclear. I was worried about mine til the doc said it was just keratosis. However, he did say that unless it is suddenly changing quickly and/or is blackish or blue-ish it wasn't likely to be an issue. Keep sunscreen on it!)
on July 15, 2012
at 01:54 AM
Have you tried apple cider vinegar? I know it sounds funny but I totally killed off a red spot on my shin (that would just not go away!) with it. I think I just poured some on a cotton ball and doused the spot a few times a day for a couple of days. Got rid of it and it hasn't come back.
Pretty sure I used the raw one with the mother... like Braggs or something.