Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ, also known as Bowen’s Disease, occurs when there’s a growth of cancerous cells strictly on the skin’s outer layer, which is called the squamous cell skin. It occurs in people whose skin is prone to sunburns. Because the color of the skin can be passed on from one generation to the next, the disease may run in the family, but it is not a hereditary condition, per se.
What is its cause?
Bowens Disease prevalent among people receiving immunosuppressive treatments, and it has been connected with radiotherapy, long-term arsenic intake, and the human papillomavirus, which causes genital warts to appear.
What does Bowens Disease look and feel like?
Exposed skin is usually the most affected, with one or several patches occasionally spreading to a few centimeters across the face, neck, scalp, hands, and legs. It can be mistaken for psoriasis, eczema, or other skin conditions, which is why having a biopsy is advised, Bowens Disease doesn’t usually cause any symptoms.
Who can have Bowens Disease?
It’s prevalent in women over 70 years of age with fair skin that is exposed to sunlight often. The Bowens Disease patch usually appears on elderly women’s lower legs, but it can occur in men as well and on nearly every part of the body. When it affects the male penis, it’s called Bowenoid papulosis, and it looks like a brown patch in the groin area.
Can you have it removed?
Given the fact that it’s localized on the skin’s surface, Bowens Disease can’t be cured as such, but the patches can be removed so that there is virtually no trace of it left. when any form of treatment is recommended, it will usually come with a high cure rate.
The area round the patch will be cut under local anaesthetic, and the skin will then be sewn up back into place.
Liquid nitrogen freeze is a simple procedure that can be carried out at a GP practice either over the course of several sessions or in one fell swoop.
3. Curettage & cautery
During curettage, the outer layer on the patch of skin is scraped off after anaesthetising the patient.
As it attacks unhealthy cells, it causes the skin to swell up and turn red, but the inflammation will heal at the end of the course of treatment. It also causes the skin to become inflamed.
5. Photodynamic therapy
This technique involves shining beams of light of a specific wavelength onto the patch of skin, which has previously been rubbed with light-sensitive cream, and it can be a painful procedure. There will be a 4-6 hour lapse between the moment the cream is applied and the time the laser is directed at the skin, and each laser treatment session can last for up to 45 minutes. The resulting inflammation can last a few days, during which time it should not be exposed to sunlight.
6. Radiotherapy and laser
Lower leg areas, where the skin is fragile and tight, can’t be treated using radiotherapy. Unfortunately, there are many cases of Bowens Disease where the affected area is on the lower legs.
How to prevent recurrence?
After you’ve removed the affected skin area, Bowens Disease patches can re-appear anywhere on the body. Avoid direct sunlight around noon and buy sunscreen with 4 or 5 UVA stars and an SPF over 30. If you have a red patch of skin and you don’t know what caused it, it is recommended that you see your best skin specialist