What is disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis?

Disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis is a non-contagious, inherited skin condition. Most people notice it between the ages of 35 and 40, and it is uncommon for children to get the lesions.

The lesions are pyramidal papules (they are bumps on the surface of the skin), usually a few millimetres in diameter. They can be brown or red-brown, and may be situated around a hair follicle. These develop a lot in areas of the body which are exposed to the skin, and can become itchy as well with sun exposure. The lesions most commonly occur in summer, and tend to occur on the legs and arms, almost never affecting the head.

There is little in the way of effective treatments – a lot of people with disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis have the lesions frozen, and use moisturiser to reduce the dry feeling. Wearing long sleeves or full-length trousers can help reduce the development of the lesions.

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