Actinic keratosis: natural treatments

This is one of the first reasons for dermatological consultation. Indeed, actinic keratosis is particularly common in France, and especially in people with fair complexions. In question, intensive exposure to the sun or artificial UV. Actinic keratoses require increased monitoring and regular visits to the dermatologist to prevent the risk of skin cancer. However, skin lesions related to keratosis remain quite benign. And there are solutions to protect against the disease. Discover the natural remedies, the most effective techniques and the right things to do!

What is actinic keratosis?

Also called solar keratosis, it is a disease corresponding to a set of skin damage caused by excessive exposure to UV rays (from the sun or artificial).

Patients do not develop one keratosis, but several. This requires strict follow-up from a dermatological point of view. Indeed, actinic keratosis is considered to be pro-carcinogenic because it can lead to the occurrence of skin cancer, and in particular squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma.

It is therefore advisable to consult a dermatologist regularly. And if cancerous cells develop, treatment should be considered. The development of keratoses is manifested by the presence of scaly patches (detachments of small dead skin). And the skin damage is of variable sizes (from a few millimeters to a few centimeters) and colors: pinkish, red or brown.

On the other hand, parts of the body are more affected by the disease since they are most often exposed to the sun. Among them, the face, and in particular the nose and the forehead, the ears, the scalp in the absence of hair, the legs as well as the forearms and the back of the hands.

Then, actinic keratoses mainly concern people with a fair complexion and blue eyes. People with freckles and those prone to sunburn are particularly affected. And we also notice more male subjects affected than female. Skin lesions due to keratosis are also common in countries with high levels of sunshine.

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Finally, be aware that actinic keratosis most often develops after several years of exposure to the sun. It mainly affects people over the age of 40.


Generally, the visible stains do not represent any danger and are benign. However, in some cases, they can be accompanied by pain and cause itching. Therefore, these stains turn out to be rather unsightly.

On the other hand, people who develop the disease find:

  • the feeling that the surface of the skin is rough;
  • itching and burning of the skin;
  • dry lips.

You should know that the symptoms can be visible for several months, then subside and disappear in the best of cases. Thus, rough skin can quickly give way to perfectly smooth skin. And the manifestations of the disease can be reactivated after exposure to UV.

In all cases, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist to rule out the risk of skin cancer.

The causes

The origin of actinic keratosis is too prolonged exposure to UV rays (from the sun or artificial). Most people who expose themselves repeatedly and intensively to the sun’s rays sooner or later show clinical manifestations of the disease.

Note that the older we get, the more the body accumulates the damage caused by the sun. Consequently, he develops actinic keratoses or skin cancers.

There are also risk factors:

  • fair skin, blue eyes, blond or red hair;
  • susceptibility to sunburn;
  • an age greater than 40 years;
  • a weakened immune system;
  • living or working in a warm, sunny place;
  • working in contact with substances containing polyclinic aromatic hydrocarbons. Roofers, for example, are concerned.

To know : although rare, causes other than the sun can intervene in the appearance of actinic keratoses. Among them, certain carcinogenic drugs such as arsenic. And radiotherapy can also cause this type of lesion.

Natural treatments for actinic keratosis

The cold treatment

Cryotherapy is the first line of treatments to fight against actinic keratosis. This consists of projecting a jet of liquid nitrogen on the lesion. This leads to its total destruction by cold.

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Not very painful, this technique is performed without anesthesia. The treated person sometimes feels a simple pinching sensation during the projection.

Generally, the dermatologist performs two applications, each lasting 30 to 45 seconds. The frozen body area dies and disappears. It then takes the form of a crust which falls off a few days after the session.


Light treatment is an effective solution for getting rid of skin lesions associated with actinic keratosis.

Phototherapy is a technique that is applied locally, for about three hours. This is a cream that penetrates the skin into the lesion. Once the dressing is removed, the area is then illuminated with an intense red light.

The session lasts a few minutes and can cause some pain when precautions are not taken. And an inflammatory reaction also occurs before disappearing within a few days.

It should be noted that this technique remains rather reserved for the most extensive forms of the disease. And it generally occurs when there is a history of skin cancer.

Effective protection from the sun: good gestures!

You should protect yourself against the sun’s UV rays by using the necessary equipment: wearing a hat, long-sleeved clothing, trousers, anti-UV fabrics, no necklines.

You should also use sunscreen suitable for your skin type and apply it correctly. Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor against ultraviolet B rays and ultraviolet A rays. The application must be carried out twenty minutes before exposure and renewed every two hours and after swimming, if necessary. .

On the other hand, it is better to avoid sun exposure during the hours of strong sunshine, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunbathing is also prohibited. It turns out to be best to seek out the shade.

Grandma’s remedies

Finally, there are natural remedies to prevent degeneration into skin cancer:

  • the application of a mask based on baking soda and exfoliant;
  • a moisturizing treatment consisting of taking a bath mixed with a little oatmeal powder and whole milk, the equivalent of a few bowls;
  • a scrub of sugar, cider vinegar and coconut or olive oil.
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