ACTINIC CHEILITIS & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "actinic cheilitis"?
Actinic cheilitis definition: Sometimes known as "sailor's lip" or "farmer's lip," actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. People with this disorder often complain of cracking of the lips & persistent dryness where the lower lip is most often affected.
Symptoms & Signs
Located on the lips, actinic cheilitis is most often on the lower lip. Among the signs & symptoms noted are scaliness, persistent redness & chapping of the lip. Cracks (fissures) & erosions may be present as well.
Treatment: How to Treat "actinic cheilitis"?
Without evidence of malignancy in severe cases, a lip shave procedure (vermilionectory may be performed for the treatment of this skin disorder). A physician may also recommend destruction (ablation) of the damaged cells with carbon dioxide laser in less extreme cases.
The main cause of actinic cheilitis or farmer's lip is excessive & chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. There may be a thickening whitish discoloration of the lip at the border of the skin & lip. The usually sharp demarcation between the normal skin (vermilion border) & the red of the lip may also be lost.
Your doctor may remove a small skin sample (biopsy) for examination under a microscope, in addition to taking a complete checking of the affected area of the skin & as well as a complete medical history. The biopsy is often sent to a pathologist in diagnosing the skin samples.