Facts, Symptoms, and Treatments for Dry Skin Behind the Ears
Actinic keratosis refers to the rough, scaly skin patches that develop after being exposed to the sun for many years. This condition usually shows up on the face, ears, lips, scalp, neck, forearms, and back of hands.
Actinic keratosis is manifested by the following signs and symptoms:
- Scaly, dry, or rough patch of skin (often less than one inch in diameter)
- Color as wide-ranging as flesh-colored, red, pink, or brown
- Bump or patch of skin on the skin surface that may be flat or raised
- Burning or itching on the affected part
- A hard surface that looks like a wart in some cases
Years of sunburn can eventually cause actinic keratosis, a scaly and crusty growth. Chronic exposure to the sun causes almost all cases of actinic keratosis. Skin damage due to sun exposure, even for brief periods, all add up. Because seventy to eighty percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the clouds, even cloudy days are not safe. These rays also give you additional exposure as they bounce off reflective surfaces such as snow and sand.
The lamps used in tanning salons also give ultraviolet radiation that may pose more danger than the sun’s UV rays, which is why dermatologists tell clients to take caution with indoor tanning. Meanwhile, certain industrial chemicals and extensive X-ray exposure can also cause actinic keratosis. Since this takes years to develop, the condition usually manifests in older adults. Most doctors consider it a serious condition, however, since skin cancer could start from here.
Actinic keratosis can be a troublesome skin condition. You should absolutely see a dermatologist if you find one ore more keratoses developing.
You should follow all of the instructions that your doctor gives you. If you want natural options, some of the following may be of use even though they have not been medically tested. Tell your doctor about all of the treatments that you are trying.
- Apply virgin coconut oil (organic) regularly onto the affected areas, especially the dry skin behind your ears. This will help in eventually getting rid of the actinic keratosis spots from your face, ears, nose, forehead, neck, and scalp. Your spots may initially appear reddish and you may feel a burning sensation, but these issues should resolve within four weeks. You will find your skin becoming softer as the actinic keratosis spots start to disappear. You can do the coconut oil treatment once daily until the spots vanished.
- Dip a clean cotton ball in vinegar (apple cider). After ensuring that the cotton is saturated with the apple cider vinegar, put on the surface of the area affected with actinic keratosis and cover with bandage (it should be waterproof and airtight). Leave the bandage on while you sleep and remove the next day. You may notice the bump initially appearing whitish during treatment; within three weeks, the apple cider vinegar's acidic component will have removed the bump.
- You can use castor oil to reduce the spots and treat the burning and inflammation associated with actinic keratosis. This treatment is more effective if done on a regular basis.
- Eggplant cream is also used to remedy your actinic keratosis issues. You can easily whip up your own eggplant cream. Mince a medium-size eggplant and place in a clean jar. Pour in apple cider vinegar, making sure the eggplant is fully covered in eggplant. Cover and let stand inside the refrigerator for three days or until the vinegar turns darker in color. You can then dip a cotton swab or ball into the eggplant cream and apply it to your affected spots all throughout the day.
- See to it that you consume a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruits daily. Broccoli and citrus fruits are especially abundant in beta-carotene and other antioxidants and vitamin C and selenium. Eating these foods helps ensure your cells' and skin's health. You can give your immune system a boost by taking beans, whole grains, and vegetables every day. Other immune-boosting foods with anti-cancer properties are white fish, green tea, cabbage, grapes, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and hot peppers.
There are times when a case of actinic keratosis resolves without any use of treatments, only to return after further exposure to the sun. To counteract this, you can give the following medical treatments a try:
- Medications- In the case of having several actinic keratoses, it would be better to treat the entire area with topical prescription products, such as: Imiquimod cream, Fluorouracil cream, Diclofenac gel, and Ingenol mebutate gel.
- Photodynamic therapy- This treatment involves the application of a photosynthesizing agent to your affected skin, causing the damaged cells to become sensitive to light. This is followed by a process which exposes your skin to strong laser light so that the damaged skin cells are destroyed.
- Surgery- One or two actinic keratoses may be removed through surgical procedures upon your doctor's recommendation. There is cryotherapy (freezing), which involves the application of liquid nitrogen or another extremely cold substance to your skin lesions. The skin surface blisters or peels as the liquid nitrogen freezes it. Your skin then undergoes a healing process, after which new skin emerges as your lesions get sloughed off. You may also consider curettage (scraping), a medical procedure that has a surgeon using a curet to remove any damaged cells. This can be followed by another surgical procedure called electrosurgery, which involves cutting and destroying your affected tissue with electric current.
If you think you have one or more keratoses, see a doctor for treatment and to have it checked for cancer.