Weekly Wonders #39 -Actinic Keratosis

actinic keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

I first heard this term many years ago, when I had a dry scaly area biopsied (see John Hopkins description here). Since then I have had numerous episodes of them appearing and even had a couple of basal cell cancer areas removed. I’m figuring that most of us in my age group were sun worshippers and did not know the advantages of sunscreen. Thus, I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this condition.

So I thought I’d share my treatment of choice after many years of experimenting. I’ve had them biopsied, I’ve used the prescription (Efudex) and I’ve ignored them. If you’ve ever tried the Efudex (or generic version), then you know how aggressive it is—the pain, the scabbing, the grossness!! I actually did this method religiously on many a body part, but it certainly wasn’t fun. Then I happened to stumble upon using Silver Gel on the spots. I realize I am a Western medicine scientist, but I do lean towards the Eastern medicine philosophy for many medicines and treatments. We had been using the liquid silver for those times when we were starting to feel sick to stave off sore throats and it has worked wonderfully. I’m not sure why we purchased the gel, but once I started using it on my actinic keratosis areas I never looked back.

The silver gel seems to make the spot disappear without the scabbing or pain I experienced with the prescription product. As a biology person, I was intrigued that maybe the silver gel only helped on the top layer and maybe did not penetrate as deep as the prescription. So, of course, I did a (non-scientific) test on myself. I took note of where one of the spots had been “healed” with the silver gel and then started applying the Efudex to see if anything would “react.” And, it didn’t. As a side note, I used the Silver Gel compliantly on two areas on my face that later were removed as basal cell— it did not fix those spots. But it seems to help the “precancerous” areas beautifully.

I apply the product twice daily. The above pictures are my most recent bout on my hand. It may seems like three weeks is a long time to wait, but I just make it part of my morning and evening routine. And since there is no pain involved, it’s not a big deal!. I’ll actually continue applying the gel to the spot until I can’t see/remember where to place it!

We purchase our silver and silver gel from Nature’s Sunshine and if you are thinking of purchasing it somewhere else, my only recommendation would be to make sure it’s a reputable company. It’s the same with any supplements/vitamins, as they are not regulated by any testing. Silver is defined as an antimicrobial wound gel by drugs.com and even my dermatologist was agreeable with me using it! Of course, you should check with your own doctor.

 Silver gel from Nature’s Sunshine $25Silver Shield Gel (20 ppm) (3 oz. tube) (there is a 1 oz. tube also here)

Have you ever tried Silver? The three age groups will be putting together color combinations with burgundy this week!  Check back to see them all!