Definitions

solar cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis, also known as solar cheilitis, is the counterpart of actinic keratosis of the skin and can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. In actinic cheilitis, there is thickening whitish discoloration of the lip at the border of the lip and skin. There is also a loss of the usually sharp border between the red of the lip and the normal skin, known as the vermillion border. The lesion is usually painless, persistent, more common in older males, more common in individuals with a light complexion with a history of chronic sun exposure.

Causes and Treatment

Actinic cheilitis is caused by chronic and excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunight.

This condition is considered premalignant because it may lead to cancer in about 10% of cases, and should be treated accordingly.

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