Actinic Cheilitis: Clinical Characteristics Observed in 75 Patients and a Summary of the Literature of This Often Neglected Premalignant Disorder


Actinic cheilitis can progress to squamous cell carcinoma in 20% of cases. The purpose of this study was to identify the clinical characteristics of 75 patients with actinic cheilitis and to summarise the current literature concerning actinic cheilitis. A total of 75 patients were evaluated over a 3-year period. The medical history, physical examination results and images were collected from each patient. Demographic data were collected and analysed. To review the literature, the relevant data were collected from scientific journals in the last 30 years. The mean age of the patients was 56 years old; 42 patients (56%) were female, and 66 patients (88%) were white. Nineteen (25.3%) patients reported at least one symptom, including pain, burning and itching. Sixty-five (86.7%) patients presented actinic cheilitis only in the lower lip. All of the patients reported sun exposure, and 44 (58.6%) patients were exposed for more than 10 years. The main clinical aspects investigated and analysed included dryness (100%), flaking (72%) and white lesions (57.3%). Lip assessment is extremely important in medical and dental care. From the 15 lesions assessed in the presence of actinic cheilitis, the most common clinical characteristics observed were dryness, flaking and white lesions. It is imperative to know the clinical aspects that may be encountered in actinic cheilitis in order to achieve early diagnosis, thus avoiding lip squamous cell carcinoma transformation.

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Oliveira Miranda, A. , Miranda Ferrari, T. , Leite, T. , Cunha, K. and Dias, E. (2014) Actinic Cheilitis: Clinical Characteristics Observed in 75 Patients and a Summary of the Literature of This Often Neglected Premalignant Disorder. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 1337-1344. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.521171.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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