Bowen’s Disease is also known as Bowen’s. Bowen’s disease is a type of slow-growing and scaly skin patch. Bowen’s, most often, looks like a bright-red or pink scaly patch, located on previously or presently sun-exposed skin. Causes of BD include solar damage, arsenic, immunosuppression (including AIDS), viral infection (human papillomavirus or HPV) and chronic skin injury and dermatoses. It is thought to develop partly as a result of long-term sun exposure. The incidence in the UK is around 14 per 100,000 per year but a study of white people from Hawaii gave 10 times that figure, presumably because of exposure to strong sunlightIt is seen most often on the legs of women. Bowen disease most commonly is reported in whites. Bowen’s disease is not infectious or due to an allergy.
Bowen’s disease is most often seen in people in their 60s and 70s, and is about three times more common in women than men. Bowen’s disease typically presents as a gradually enlarging, well demarcated erythematous plaque with an irregular border and surface crusting or scaling. Bowen’s disease is more common in sunny countries. However, since areas of the body that are not normally exposed to sunlight (such as the genitals or anus) can be affected, sun exposure can’t be the sole risk factor. Virus infection has been implicated, particularly human papillomavirus (usually HPV 16 but more rarely HPV 2). Bowen’s disease is diagnosed with a biopsy. This involves a small part of the affected area being removed. A local anaesthetic is given to numb the area.
Once Bowen’s disease escapes the epidermis, it can become a more aggressive form of skin cancer. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), Cryotherapy (freezing) or local chemotherapy (with 5-fluorouracil) are favored by some clinicians over excision. Radiotherapy treats Bowen’s disease by using high- energy x-rays which destroy the abnormal cells while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells. Topical therapy is the use of a cream which is applied over a period of time to the affected area. Superficial x-ray treatment may be best for those unsuitable for surgery, especially with multiple lesions. Imiquimod 5% cream appears to be an effective treatment for Bowen’s disease on the lower limbs. Radiation therapy is rarely used now.
Bowens Disease Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Curettage is scraping off the abnormal skin under a local anaesthetic.
2. Excision (cutting the patch out) is done under local anaesthetic.
3. Efudix cream is a cream that may control or eradicate the disorder.
4. Photodynamic therapy is a new form of treatment.
5. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a newer treatment which is used for different skin conditions.
6. Topical therapy is the use of a cream which is applied over a period of time to the affected area.
7. Cryotherapy may be possible to remove the area by freezing it. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the affected area to freeze it.