Solar Keratosis Prevention

  • Best ResultsLong-term
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure Time1 minute daily
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsLifetime
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Solar Keratosis Prevention

The use of sunscreen, topical retinoids, & antioxidants including ascorbic, ferulic acid & tocopherol can potentially reduce the formation of new sunspots. In many cases, some sunspots will involute without active treatment. Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 should be supplemented by all patients who are susceptible to skin cancers & actinic keratosis.

FactsFacts on Preventing Solar Keratosis

  • Up to 35% of sunspots can be treated with simple measures
  • Oral supplementation of vitamin B3 can cause involution of one third of solar keratosis
  • Sunscreen can spontaneously improve one quarter of solar keratosis
  • SPF & niacinamide can markedly reduce the rate of some forms of skin cancers
  • Vitamin A including retinoic acid, retinol, retinaldehyde & trifarotene can reduce sun damage
  • Antioxidants including ascorbic, ferulic acids, vitamin E, green tea & botanicals reduce UV & environmental damage to cells
  • Solar keratosis prevention is not complex, nor costly
  • Read more to understand

What is the role of skin care?

It is never too late to look after your skin. Think of skin care as the equivalent of toothpaste for enamel health, it is about prevention. The use of scientifically proven skin care actives such as retinoids, ascorbic acid, glycolic acids, salicylic acids, ferulic acid & niacinamide, tocopherol & adequate sunscreen can reduce more than 25% of solar keratosis.

How important is sunscreen?

Very important. Sunscreen reduces the rate of skin cancers & plays an important role in preventing solar keratosis. Adequate & frequent use of a broad-spectrum SPF can involute one quarter of sun spots. It is a fact.

What is the correct sunscreen application technique?

The simple explanation, two finger lengths of sunscreen twice a day, regardless of sun exposure. This covers the head & neck.

The scientific explanation, SPF, is determined by 2 mg per cm2, or about 5 grams per application. Ideally sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before exposure. Remember your ears, neck & chest.

What is the best sunscreen for skin cancer & sunspot prevention?

A broad-spectrum SPF is best. The Cancer Council provides good formulations at a reasonable price. Sunscreens are divided into chemical, physical and hybrid sunscreens. Most offer UVB & long wave UVA protection. My favourites are-

Daily: Cancer Council, Invisible Zinc, Melan 130, LRP Anthelios 

Sport: Neutrogena, Ego Sport & Waterproof sunscreens.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Preventing Sunspots

Sunspots or solar keratosis are super common in Australia. Nearly half of the population will have multiple sunspots by the age of 50, many will have over a dozen. As the name suggests, UV exposure is the number one cause of actinic keratosis. Other predisposing factors include smoking, immune suppression, arsenic exposure & other rare genetic conditions.

Prevention means early detection of solar damage as well as mitigation of recurrent solar keratosis after procedures such as photodynamic therapy & laser resurfacing. I normally start patients on a simple routine 2-6 weeks post procedure. The prevention combination will depend on previous history, skin examination & importantly skin sensitivity. As a guide-

High risk, aggressive sun damage: Oral retinoids including acitretin or prescription retinoic acid 1-5%, topical tretinoin, pulsed 5 FU. topical lactic – salicylic acids.

Moderate risk, topical retinoids. Clinical strength glycolic or retinoic acid peels.

Low risk, OTC retinol, antioxidants & chemical peels.

The evidence of niacinamide – vitamin B3 is solid, 500 mg twice a day can reduce the incidence of SCCs, BCCs & involute over a third of actinic keratosis. It’s a no brainer. Oral supplementation with antioxidants do no harm, more research is required to document the benefits.

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