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Actinic Cheilitis : Introduction , Risk , Sign and Symptoms , Treatment


Actinic cheilitis, sometimes referred to as 
"farmer's lip" or "sailor's lip," may be a precancerous condition associated with cumulative lifetime sun exposure. The lower lip is most often affected. Individuals with actinic cheilitis often complain of persistent dryness and cracking of the lips. They will frequently exhibit other effects of sun-damaged skin, like precancerous lesions on the skin called actinic keratoses and extensive wrinkling.

A certain sort of carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma) develops in 6–10% of cases of actinic cheilitis.


Who's at risk?

Actinic cheilitis is significantly more common in men, the elderly, and fair-skinned individuals. There is also a strong association with tobacco use.


Signs and Symptoms

Actinic cheilitis is found 
on the lips, most frequently the lower lip. Persistent redness, scaliness, and chapping are among the symptoms noted. Erosions and cracks (fissures) may be present as well.


Self-Care Guidelines

Prevention is very important. Wearing barrier clothing (eg, wide-brimmed hats) and sunscreen-containing lip balms can aid in preventing actinic cheilitis.


When to Seek Medical Care

Seek the evaluation of a medical care 
provider or dermatologist when persistent scaling of the lips is noted. A biopsy of the lip may be needed to rule out squamous cell carcinoma.


Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

In severe cases without evidence of malignancy, a lip shave procedure (vermilionectomy) could also be 
performed. In less extreme cases, your physician may recommend destruction (ablation) of the damaged cells with a CO2 (CO2) laser.

Alternative treatments include the utilization of electrical current to destroy the precancerous cells (electrodesiccation) and a facial sanding technique (dermabrasion). Topical therapy with a chemotherapeutic agent (fluorouracil) or a topical immunomodulator (imiquimod) could also be prescribed.



Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of

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