Actinic Cheilitis (Solar Cheilitis)

Actinic Cheilitis
Body Parts: Head
Medical Subjects: Skin

What Is Actinic Cheilitis

What disease is actinic cheilitis?

Actinic cheilitis, also known as solar cheilitis, is a precancerous keratosis of the lips caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight.

It usually presents as persistent dry and desquamation of the lower lip and more advanced lesions with atrophy, edema, redness, ulceration, and indistinct labial red border in individuals of pale complexion over the age of 40 years with a history of excessive sun exposure.

Lesions are usually isolated, but multiple lesions can occur with a characteristic "sandpaper-like" feel on palpation. It shares a common pathogenesis with actinic keratosis and can progress to squamous cell carcinoma.

Is actinic cheilitis common?



What Is The Cause Of Actinic Cheilitis

What are the common causes of actinic cheilitis?

In general, actinic cheilitis was attributed to long-term sun exposure, while older age, male sex, and tobacco use were also risk factors.

Genetic diseases associated with an increased susceptibility to sun damage such as xeroderma pigmentosum, delayed cutaneous porphyria and albinism of the eye and skin are also risk factors.

Who is actinic cheilitis common in?

Most commonly in hot, dry areas, outdoor workers, and individuals with a history of excessive sun exposure and light skin color greater than 40 years of age.

Is actinic cheilitis contagious?

Actinic cheilitis is not contagious.


What Symptom Does Actinic Lip Inflammation Have

What are the common manifestations of actinic cheilitis?

  • The appearance of the lip is usually characterized by persistent lower lip dryness and desquamation;

  • In the late stage, atrophy, edema, redness, ulcer of lower lip and unclear boundary of red lip can be seen.

  • Lesions are usually isolated, but multiple lesions can occur with a characteristic "sandpaper-like" feel when touched.


How To Check For Actinic Cheilitis

How to check for actinic cheilitis

  • Long-term exposure to sunlight.

  • Typical findings are persistent dry and desquamation of the lower lip, and later atrophy, edema, redness, and ulceration.

  • Physical examination by the physician: Includes dry and desquamation of the lower lip with atrophy, edema, redness, ulceration and unclear labial red border. The lesions are usually solitary but can present in multiple lesions with a characteristic "sandpaper-like" touch.

  • Doctors assessed for risk factors such as older age, male gender, and tobacco use.

  • Physicians assess for genetic disorders associated with an increased susceptibility to sun damage, such as xeroderma pigmentosum, delayed cutaneous porphyria, and albinism of the eye and skin.

  • Histopathological examination revealed actinic dermatitis.

What check does actinic cheilitis need to do?

Histopathological examination: The diagnosis was mainly actinic cheilitis and distinguished from other cheilitis. The histological manifestations of actinic cheilitis are acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, focal regional atrophy and varying degrees of keratinocyte atypia.

What diseases are actinic cheilitis easily confused with?

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: differentiation relies mainly on histopathological examination.

  • Lupus erythematosus: The clinical and histological manifestations of atrophic actinic cheilitis may resemble discoid lupus erythematosus. However, lupus erythematosus is present if there is degeneration of the underlying vacuoles, hair follicle embolism, and heterogeneous infiltration around the adnexa.

  • Lichen planus: Lichen planus involving the lips is usually in a white network and is usually associated with oral mucosal lesions. It can be identified through histological examination.

  • Eczema cheilitis: it is the most common type of lip diseases, manifested as dry upper and lower lips, desquamation, redness and cracks after contacting with stimulants or allergens. The inflammation may extend to the perioral skin, and in a few cases, the oral mucosa. Common symptoms are itching and a burning sensation.

  • Angular stomatitis: also known as angular erosion, is an acute or chronic inflammation of the skin at the junction of the two sides of the mouth and of the mucosa adjacent to the lip, caused by excessive wetting and maceration of the saliva and secondary infection by Candida albicans, more rarely by secondary infection by Staphylococcus aureus. Predisposing factors include shortening of the vertical distance to the mouth, wearing poorly adapted dentures, Sjogren's syndrome, and poor oral hygiene.

  • Plasma cell cheilitis: Appears as well-demarcated, firm or erosive erythema, most often in the lower lip. It is mainly distinguished by clinical and histopathological features.

  • Glandular cheilitis: It is usually characterized by hypertrophy and eversion of the lower lip, numerous needle-tip-sized openings, and exudation of viscous or purulent fluid.

  • Granulomatous cheilitis: It is characterized by persistent, painless swelling of the lip. Identification by histopathological examination of the lip is required.

Secondary lip involvement is also common in many skin and systemic disorders such as autoimmune bullous disease, Crohn's disease, sarcoidosis, and nutritional deficiency, which are distinguished by systemic features and histopathological examination in addition to the lip.


How To Prevent Actinic Cheilitis

Can actinic cheilitis be prevented? How?

Strict sun protection is an important means of preventing actinic cheilitis from progressing to squamous cell carcinoma and further disease development. Sun protection measures include avoiding direct sunlight, wearing a hat, and daily use of lip protection products.


How To Treat Actinic Cheilitis

Which department should actinic cheilitis see?


What treatment method does actinic cheilitis have?

The method for treating actinic cheilitis comprises

  • Destructive therapies: such as liquid nitrogen, xerostomia, chemical exfoliation, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, and skin grinding; For isolated lesions of mild to moderate actinic cheilitis, liquid nitrogen cryotherapy can be used.

  • External drugs: For example, fluorouracil, imiquimod, tretinoin, and diclofenac are used for external use; most of them are used for patients with multifocal or diffuse mild to moderate actinic cheilitis.

  • Surgical treatment: For a patient with severe actinic cheilitis associated with high-grade dysplasia, a primary suture or mucosal-propulsive flap is required to repair the defect following the labial red resection.

Individualized treatment is designed primarily based on the scope and severity of the lesion and the wishes of the patient.

Can actinic labitis oneself good?


What are the common side effects of the treatment of actinic cheilitis?

  • Adverse reactions to fluorouracil drug therapy include pain, redness and edema of the lips, erosions, and ulcers.

  • Adverse reactions to topical imiquimod include redness, sclerosis, erosion, and ulceration.

Does actinic cheilitis need reexamination? How?

Need to review, mainly the doctor physical examination to observe the efficacy of drugs or surgery, and dynamic observation of whether the recurrence.

Can actinic cheilitis be cured?

Early and timely formal treatment of the disease can be cured.

Will actinic cheilitis relapse after treatment? How did relapse do?

Recurrence may occur, and treatment should be sought promptly after recurrence.


What Should Actinic Cheilitis Patient Notice In Life

What should actinic cheilitis patient notice in life?

  • In daily life to avoid long-term sun exposure (strict sunscreen), don't smoke, smoking cessation.

  • If there are xeroderma pigmentosum, delayed dermatoporphyria, albinism of eyes and skin, we should actively treat these diseases.

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