In this article we explain what Bowen’s skin disease is, what the symptoms are and what treatment options there are.
Bowen’s disease is a skin disease that primarily affects the elderly. It is a slow-growing, early stage of skin cancer associated with chronic inflammatory features. It starts as a small and rough spot, pink spot or as a discoloration on the skin. The disease is benign, but can slowly progress to squamous cell cancer.
The risk of Bowen’s skin disease is greatest if you have often been unprotected in the sun in your life, often burned in the sun or, for example, regularly went or went to the sun bed. The disease is usually found in places where there is a lot of sunlight. For example, think of your nose, eyebrow, eyelid, cheekbone, ear, lip, forehead, hands, forearms, feet and lower legs. But the disease does not only appear in places where there is a lot of sunlight. It can also arise on the genitals or in the buttocks crack.
You can recognize Bowen’s skin disease as a skin abnormality that grows slowly. It looks like a red, scaly patch with a wavy edge. The spots are very similar to eczema or psoriasis, but in the case of Bowen’s skin disease, the scaling feels a bit more ‘solid’. The spots differ in size and are approximately between two millimeters to ten centimeters in size.
A skin biopsy is done to make the diagnosis. Such a skin biopsy is important to rule out further growth to deeper parts of the skin and another type of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma.
When it comes to Bowen’s skin disease, a doctor often cuts out the spot. This often also cuts a small edge of the healthy skin. This way there is a greater chance that the spot will be gone in one go. Before the doctor cuts, you will first receive an injection that numbs the skin and the wound will be sutured after the cut.
Other forms of treatment are freezing the spot or treatment with a cream containing 5FU. This is a form of chemotherapy that is done on the skin. Freezing or treatment with a cream will cause little or no scarring, but the chance is a bit higher that it will come back.
When the skin disease is completely excised, you usually don’t have to come back. And with frostbite or treatment with cream, you often get a check-up after three months. After that, it is especially important to check your skin yourself every quarter. Then see if weird spots come back in the same place and if new weird spots are developing on other parts of your body. In addition, make sure that you protect your skin extra well against the sun by rubbing yourself well with a sun factor and not sitting in full sun.
Source | Home doctor, skin doctor