Treatment options for actinic keratosis

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Dr. Marta Grazzini is an English-speaking Dermatologist and Venereologist. She graduated from the Medical School of the University of Pisa in 2007. Dr. Grazzini earned the specialization in Dermatology and Venereology from the University of Florence in 2012. She is currently pursuing a doctorate (Ph.D.) at the University of Florence.

Dr. Grazzini’s main area of ​​research is the dermatological oncology and early detection of melanoma with the use of the modern non-invasive diagnostic methods such as dermoscopy and videodermoscopy. Dr. Grazzini lived extensively in the US and conducted research at leading American scientific institutions such as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Harvard Medical School in Boston.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is treatable with antibiotics, but can have serious complications if not treated soon after infection. Both men and women can have syphilis, and it can be passed on from an infected pregnant woman to her unborn infant. 

  Syphilis occurs in 3 stages. In stages 1 and 2 a person is infectious during sexual contact. The condition is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with an infected area. Sores develop on the site that has touched the infectious area. Depending on the type of sexual contact, sores may therefore appear on or near the genitals, lips, fingers or anus. The hard, usually painless sores can appear any time between 10 days to 3 months after acquiring the infection. Two to four months after infection there may be symptoms including a skin rash, patchy hair loss, fever, lumps around the genitals and anus, or general tiredness. If not treated, these symptoms may disappear and then recur over the next two years. The rash can be all over the body and is very contagious. An infected, but untreated, person may remain infectious through sexual contact for 2 years. 


Many cases of hair loss are temporary (for example, due to chemotherapy) or a natural part of ageing and don't need treatment. However, hair loss can have an emotional impact, so it is best to seek treatment if you are uncomfortable with your appearance.

If hair loss is caused by an infection or another dermatological condition, such as lichen planus or discoid lupus, treating the underlying problem may help to prevent further hair loss.

Male-pattern baldness is can also be treated with topical or systemic treatment.

The usual therapies for individual AK work destructively by surgically removing the lesion . These should always be considered for isolated lesions or early presentations of AKs. Destructive therapies include liquid nitrogen cryotherapy, curettage with or without electrodessication, and shave excision. The benefits of these techniques are that they are quick, procedurally simple, and easy. Cryotherapy is one of the most commonly utilized techniques, with liquid nitrogen being the most frequently selected cryogen. Applying cryotherapy to the affected area lowers the skin to temperatures that destroy atypical AK cells. This technique is ideal if lesions are scattered or limited in number, or for patients who are non-compliant with topical regimes .  Cryotherapy is advantageous in that it is generally well tolerated and does not require local anesthetic, but downsides include pain during the procedure and frequent permanent hypopigmentation. 

Curettage consists of using a curette to mechanically remove atypical cells. A shave excision using a surgical blade is another technique. These may be followed by electrocautery, which will destroy additional atypical cell layers as well as provide hemostasis. These techniques are most appropriate for treating individual AKs, cases where a biopsy is required to rule out SCC, or for hypertrophic AKs that are refractory to other treatments.

For patients with multiple AKs a different therapeutic approach, known as field therapy, is needed with the goal of  “field therapy” for the eradication of both the clinically visible and subclinical AKs within the treatment area . As regards as chemical treatments, Diclofenac and Imiquimod are the most frequent used in Europe. 

Doctor Marta Grazzini is specialized in diagnosis and treatment of melanoma and non melanoma skin cancer. Doctor Grazzini treat skin cancer with a variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques.


The skin check by the dermatologist is the most effective method for the skin cancer prevention. The frequency of the dermatlogical skin check is variable and mainly depends on patient  personal and family history of melanoma and patient skin type (subjects with very light skin have higher risk of skin cancer). 
The frequency of the dermatological control should also depend on the amount and the type of  sun exposure that the patient has had during his/her childhood.  Sun burns is the most important risk factor for cutaneous cancer. Based on patient personal characteristics, the dermatologist will recommend a specific frequency for follow-up visits. On average, a dermatologic skin check is recommended every 12 months

Melanoma and Non Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It begins in skin cells called melanocytes. Though melanoma is predominantly found on the skin, it can even occur in the eye.

The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. But melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. The chance of getting melanoma increases as you get older, but people of any age can get melanoma. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults. Melanoma is a serious and sometimes life-threatening cancer. If melanoma is found and treated in its early stages, the chances of recovery are very good. If it is not found early, melanoma can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body.


The most common non-melanoma skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. They two type of cancer are very common in Caucasian population. They usually start in the basal cells or squamous cells, which is how they get their names. Most non-melanoma skin cancers develop on sun-exposed areas of the body, like the face, ear, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Depending on the type, they can be fast or slow growing, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

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