Developed by Almirall pharmaceutical company, Solaraze is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is commonly used for the treatment of actinic keratosis. This topical medicine is applied to the affected areas of skin over the course of the treatment that can last maximum of 90 days. Since this is a prescription-only medicine, if you are looking to buy Solaraze in the UK, you will first have to go through consultations with a certified medical professional.
One should keep in mind that you can obtain the prescription both by visiting a doctor the conventional way and by using the services of an online clinic. In either case, you will be presented with an opportunity to inform the doctor about your medical profile and history so he can assess your condition and determine whether you are suitable for Solaraze treatment.
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Actinic keratosis (solar keratosis): A short introduction
Actinic keratosis, also known as solar keratosis is a skin condition that is caused by prolonged or repeated exposure to ultraviolet light – most commonly, this means prolonged and unprotected exposure to direct sunlight. Due to the fact that this condition takes time to develop, it is much more common in older people who have spent long periods in the sun over a number of years.
Solar keratosis is surprisingly common – it affects as much as 20% or more of people aged 60 or more. The condition manifests by the formation of small patches of scaly skin, most commonly on the legs, arms, hands, face or forehead. When it affects men, the tell-tale scales can also appear on bald areas of the scalp and the ears. The size of the affected area can also vary significantly – from a pinprick to a diameter that can reach as much as three centimetres. Sometime after the patches have first appeared, they tend to become very rough and bumpy, resembling the appearance of warts.
Who is at risk of developing actinic keratosis?
While this condition can affect anyone, regardless of sex, age, gender or other factors, actinic keratosis is most commonly observed in people who have fair skin (and are more prone to sunburns), those that work outside of have outdoor hobbies and those living in a hot climate or parts of the world where sun’s radiation index is exceptionally high.
Treating and managing keratosis
Lesions characteristic of keratosis can disappear on their own after a while, usually leaving the skin irritated and sore. However, when left untreated, this condition can, in a fraction of those affected, develop into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Timely treatment with relevant prescription medicine will go a long way in reducing the list of this potentially lethal complication.
Solaraze gel as actinic keratosis treatment
Solaraze is a commonly prescribed and highly effective keratosis treatment that is used over a period of sixty to ninety days. Its active component, diclofenac sodium works by inhibiting the ability of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase to produce another naturally synthesised compound, prostaglandis. Both of these substances play a vital role in the inflammatory processes in the body.
As such, Solaraze gel is very adept at tackling inflammations, reducing them and helping the skin return to its usual state.
How is Solaraze gel used?
When using Solaraze gel, always make sure to follow the directions provided by your doctor exactly. If there are any open questions, you can always take a look at the official patient information leaflet that is provided with every pack of the medicine. By using this treatment properly, you will minimise the risk of any side effects manifesting, while at the same time optimising the results of the treatment.
Some of the most general guidelines for use of Solaraze include:
- Apply as prescribed
- Pierce the aluminium foil at the top of the tube with the cap
- Apply the gel to the affected area
- Use pea-sized amount of the gel (roughly 0.5 grams) for a skin area with a diameter of 5cm
- Do not apply to areas affected by dermatitis, which are injured or infected
- Use the gel two times per day if not instructed otherwise by a doctor
- The maximum daily dose is eight grams
- Unless keratosis is on your hands, be sure to wash them thoroughly with soap after use
- Keep the gel away from the eyes, mouth and the nose
- Course of treatment will last somewhere between 60 and 90 days
- If you forget to use a gel, just continue with the treatment as usual
- If you accidentally use too much Solaraze, wash off the excess with water
- Avoid sunlight exposure while using Solaraze (including tanning machines)
These are just the most general directions – for a more in-depth guide, please refer to the official patient information leaflet.
Are there any documented side effects of Solaraze?
As is the case with all medicines, Solaraze too comes with an array of possible side effects. Naturally, these will not affect everybody using this treatment, but it is still important to get familiar with them, so you can ask for expert advice if needed. The side effect that you should be especially aware of is the possibility of an allergic reaction which will manifest through hives, swelling of the face, runny nose or breathing difficulties. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop using the gel and ask for immediate medical assistance.
Other documented side effects include:
Frequency of occurrence
Common (1 in 10 users)
Irritated or tingling skin on treated areas, rashes, dryness of the skin, sagging, ulceration, tenderness, eczema, dermatitis, numbing
Uncommon (1 in 100 users)
Abdominal pain, dry, painful or watery eyes, hair loss, nausea, diarrhoea, oily skin, rash similar to measles
Rare (1 in 1000 users)
Blistering of treated areas
Very rare (1 in 10.000 users)
Gastrointestinal bleeding, breathing problems, kidney failure, increased skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light, skin rashes
This list does not cover all known possible side effects – for a comprehensive and detailed list of all side effects, please refer to the official patient information leaflet.
Just like all medicines, Solaraze is not equally suitable for everybody and there are even some scenarios when the use of this gel might be contraindicated. For example, this can be the case if you are using some other treatments at the same time. As of now, there are no indications that Solaraze can adversely interact with oral medicines, but it has been known to cause problem when combined with external medication used on the same affected skin areas. In addition to this, you should also wait at least half an hour after using Solaraze before using any moisturisers or sun creams.
In addition to this, Solaraze gel is not suitable for people affected by:
- Stomach ulcers
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Heart disease
- Kidney or liver conditions
- Blood clotting disorder
Finally, Solaraze is not suitable for women during pregnancy or for those who are currently breastfeeding.