21 Jun 2024

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What are the symptoms of Bowen disease?

What are the symptoms of Bowen disease? 

Having healthy skin and clear from imperfections is certainly almost everyone’s dream, especially in females. Apart from spending a fortune to achieve good skin, some may invest their time and money for regular health screening as they believe not only skin should be the main focus of being healthy and looking good. There are many skin issues that not only affect a person’s appearance but also cause symptoms. In this article, we will be focusing on one of the skin disorders called “Bowen disease”.

Bowen disease is also known as squamous cell carcinoma in situ. It is considered an early form of skin cancer. Bowen disease is sometimes referred to as intraepidermal SCC. This means that the malignant cancer cells are confined to the tissue of the epidermis layer. Skin cancer does sound terrifying but Bowen disease itself is actually treatable. It only affects the epidermis layer or the outermost layer of the skin. Bowen disease may develop into serious skin cancer when it is left untreated. About 3 to 5 people out of 100 people diagnosed with Bowen’s disease will develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

The exact causes of Bowen disease are yet to be known. It is believed that skin exposure to the sun is the majority cause of the disease. Other conditions making a person at risk for developing Bowen disease include those infected with human papilloma virus (HPV), a person with weak immune system such as those with AIDS or taking immunosuppressant and exposure to arsenic or ionising radiation from radiotherapy treatment. Half of patients with Bowen disease do have other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma. Bowen disease usually affects people above the age of 60. This is why it is important to make sure a person suspected of Bowen disease gets the right diagnosis and early treatment to avoid progression into much serious issues.

Bowen’s disease has many symptoms. It is typically a patch of reddish-brown and dry scaly skin that slowly grows on skin. The patch may be flat or slightly raised when touched. Any other symptoms do not usually occur but sometimes it may be itchy, bleed or oozing with pus when it is infected. In some cases, it may seem like a wart, split open or darkly coloured. Bowen disease is often seen on sun-exposed areas such as the face, hands and lower legs. Bowen’s disease may even grow under the nail resulting in a red streak that ultimately destroys the nail plate. Since lesions on the skin caused by Bowen disease may resemble other skin disorders, it is best to get medical advice if you are not sure why skin lesions occur especially if it is not caused by trauma or unexplainable.

The good news is, Bowen disease is often recognised easily by doctors through the looks of the skin lesion and patient’s history. If necessary, you should probably be referred to a dermatologist for further observation. Removal of skin as samples or known as a biopsy may be done to help healthcare professionals confirm the affected tissues is a Bowen disease. Treatments aim to remove the skin lesion from developing further. This includes cryotherapy, topical chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy and surgery. Most therapies promise excellent outcomes. Treatment depends on the person’s age and response. What might work for you might not work for others. Hence, it is best to seek doctor’s advice as soon as you suspect Bowen disease symptoms so that they can plan proper treatment catered for you. The best way to prevent Bowen disease is to limit risk of acquiring it by avoiding excessive sun exposure by wearing protective clothing and usage of sunscreen to help protect the skin. Get Vaccinated.

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