free screenings for actinic keratosis

From Friday 23 September, in various regions of Italy, the awareness campaign “Signals on the skin”, aimed at raising awareness on the importance of keeping the spots that appear on the skin under control. A series of free screening visits will be dedicated to people who have particular rough lesions to the touch. If you are over 50 and have rough and thick patches on your head, neck, face or back or hands, you can book a visit.

Where to book free screenings in Rome

The “Segnali sulla pelle” campaign also arrives in the capital, with the possibility of booking free visits for Saturday 24 September to the Tor Vergata Polyclinic, the Ifo San Gallicano Dermatological Institute and the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic Foundation. On 4 October it will then be the turn of the Policlinico Umberto I. All useful information is available on the site Segnisullapelle.it.

What is Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis (AK) is a precancerous lesion that develops more frequently in elderly people and in light-exposed sites. AK is considered a skin marker of chronic ultraviolet exposure. Clinically, actinic keratoses appear as single or multiple macules / patches, varying in color from red to brown, rough to the touch, covered with scales or crusts. In some cases they can be thick and hyperkeratotic lesions. The anatomical sites in which they are located are those most exposed to sunlight: face, ears, scalp in bald men, back of hands and forearms.

Although they are mostly asymptomatic, they can sometimes itch or bleed. The diagnosis is clinical, but can be supported by the use of dermatoscopy and other non-invasive methods such as confocal microscopy. In some selected cases, skin biopsy may be performed to obtain histological confirmation.

Since recent studies have shown that even early-stage AKs can evolve into invasive squamous cell carcinoma (iSCC), it is currently recommended to treat all types of actinic keratoses, regardless of their grading. Furthermore, in the case of multiple lesions, it is advisable to treat the entire photodamaged area (the so-called cancerization field). In fact, the area surrounding actinic keratoses, although it may be devoid of visible clinical alterations, could present genetic alterations capable of promoting carcinogenesis.

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