Topical 5-fluorouracil is a chemotherapy medication applied to the lips as a treatment for actinic cheilitis. These medications are usually prescribed for two to three weeks, and can have side effects such as pain, burning, and swelling. Chronic sun damage is often the cause of actinic cheilitis. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, every couple of months to once or twice per year, COVID-19: Acute brain dysfunction in ICU patients, Coffee consumption associated with lower risk of prostate cancer, Future coronavirus vaccines may harness nanoparticles, To thrive in lockdown, keep looking forward. Excessive or chronic exposure to shortwave UV-B rays, a type of ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight, can damage lip cell DNA and cause abnormalities. It is also referred to by other names such as solar keratosis, pre-cancerous spots, and sun spots. Porokeratosis refers to a group of skin conditions that typically appear as small patches with a raised edge. It is a premalignant condition that affects 40-year-old males more commonly. Because it’s impossible to tell what AC patches will develop into skin cancer, all AC cases should be treated with medication or surgery. Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Face, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, What You Need to Know About Oral Frenectomies. This causes the affected skin to blister and peel off, and allow new skin to form. Laser resurfacing: This may be a treatment option for actinic cheilitis, a precancerous growth on the lip. It is characterized by whitish or grayish discoloration and hyperkeratotic changes, which often blunt the demarcation point between the mucosa and skin of the lower lip. It usually appears as very chapped lips, then may turn white or scaly. Common signs of actinic cheilitis include: Actinic cheilitis goes by several other names. When abnormal cells are damaged, the chances of more mutations and the development of cancerous ones is greatly increased. As with actinic keratoses, it is widely accepted that this lesion is due to excessive sun exposure ( Glogau, 2000 ). Learn more about how this works here. This involves taking a small piece of tissue from the affected part of your lip for lab analysis. Electrosurgery requires local anesthetic. So if you’re often outside, you should take precautions to protect yourself, such as wearing lip balm with SPF. Potential complications of actinic cheilitis include: Anyone with symptoms of actinic cheilitis should talk with a doctor to rule out additional complications. After the healing process, many patients experience good cosmetic results. Actinic cheilitis is a disorder that is indicative of development of cancer. The frequency of checkups will be informed by the severity of the condition, the treatment used, and the dermatologist’s recommendation. However, histologic evaluation of the lip after the treatment revealed an even lower cure rate than was clinically evident. Albinism can also increase the risk for AC. The radiation is potent enough to stimulate chemical reaction in the body particularly the cutaneous tissues which may lead to subsequent photobiological changes. Cleaning th e Wound loss of the demarcation between the lower lip and surrounding skin, fissuring or skin breakage and separation, more noticeable or prominent lip folds or lines, actinic cheilitis with histological atypia, intraepidermal carcinoma, also known as squamous cell carcinoma in situ or Bowen disease, continuously enlarging raised skin patches, skin dysplasia, also called abnormal skin cell growth, inflammation in the dermis or the layer of skin tissue just below the top layer, atrophy, also known as cell shrinkage, causing the skin to appear wrinkled, laser ablation, where a laser removes the outer layers of sun-damaged skin, cryotherapy, where the affected patches of skin are frozen off, vermilionectomy, where the outer layer of the lip is surgically removed, electrocautery, where an electrical current is used to remove the abnormal patch, applying sunscreen to the body and face daily, even if not spending a long time outside, applying lip balms or moisturizers that contain sunscreen, frequently throughout the day, especially when in the sun, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light, long-sleeved clothing in the sun, growing a beard or mustache in the case of men, avoiding creams, facial washes, and medications that thin the skin, using extra caution in the sun when on immunosuppressing or anti-inflammatory medications, keeping hydrated, especially when in the sun. While this only happens in a small percentage of AC cases, there is no way to tell which will turn into cancer. What Causes Some Men to Have Dry, Brittle Hair and How to Treat It, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI. The first symptom of AC is usually dry, cracking lips. AC most often affects people over 40 and more commonly appears in men. AC most often appears in people over 40 and is more common in men than women. The system breaks down food, extracts nutrients…. Avoid being outside in midday, when the sun is strongest. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) With Levulan and Blue Light for the Treatment of Actinic Cheilitis. It can create an itchy rash and may be caused by deodorant ingredients, such as…, Although often a sign of natural aging, sunken cheeks could be the result of other factors, including illness, diet, or personal habits. Cryotherapy is the most common treatment for AC. They’re also at an increased risk for AC leading to skin cancer. Also, between 15 and 35 percent of carcinomas caused by actinic cheilitis spread to other tissues. Do not soak the wound. Be aware of any changes in your skin and on your lips so that you can catch AC early. If you don’t have a dermatologist, your primary care doctor can refer you to one if necessary. What should a person take to reduce nausea? Apart from solar radiation the condition may also arise due to other reasons such as: 1. This will almost always be on the lower lip. If you can’t avoid long-term sun exposure, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from developing AC. Chronic patches need to be protected from the sun at all times. The lips may also appear pale or red in color. They may then develop bumps on the lips which can be crusty or scaly. In a 2008 letter to the editor published in "American Family Physician," Dr. George Larios and colleagues report that topical 5-flurouracil remains a preferred treatment option for patients with several thin lesions associated with actinic cheilitis. About 90 percent of cases involve the lower lip, although the condition can also develop on the upper lip. This makes it far more vulnerable to damage from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Staying out of the sun as much as possible is the best prevention for AC. Healing of scars might take some time. This can remove lesions from the face and scalp, and actinic cheilitis from the lips. In this procedure, your doctor destroys the AC tissue using an electric current. You should see a doctor if you notice this type of patch on your lip. It usually appears as very chapped lips, then may turn white or scaly. Other names for it are perleche and angular stomatitis. Actinic cheilitis causes dryness and thickening typically along the line that separates the lips from the skin of the face, otherwise known as the lower vermillion border. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Most actinic keratoses can be treated and cured. Although producing considerable temporary discomfort, final results proved excellent, with recurrences in only two of 12 patients treated. When diagnosed promptly, almost all actinic keratoses (plural) can be successfully removed. This disorder is marked […] Can Powdered Vitamin C Improve the Health of Your Facial Skin? Here’s my story. Oral frenectomies are relatively simple, quick in-office procedures. It’s important to have regular skin exams after treatment. Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition caused by damage to the lip epithelium, which is the outer most tissue layer. They tend to be rough and crusty, appearing red, pink, dark, and even similar to your own skin tone. The term actinic is derived from the Greek word actis, which means ray, in reference to the sun’s rays, while cheilitis means inflammation of the lip. You should see a doctor if you notice this type of patch on your lip. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. They have become more common in recent years, as some people in the medical…. It causes inflammation and swelling of lips and this disease is similar to that of actinic keratosis which is marked by skin rash caused by exposure to sunlight. Having actinic keratosis is common and appears to increase as you age. Lesions occur almost exclusively on the lower lip, predominantly at the vermillion … © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. These discolored or scaly patches of skin are almost always painless. Most patients with AKs need 2 PDT treatments, with the second treatment given 3 weeks after the first. Granulomatous cheilitis are swollen lips a facial cleanser, toner, and swelling recent years, as can! 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