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Bowen's Disease

Bowen’s Disease is a form of skin cancer confined to the top layer of the skin. It is characterized by a persistent, non-elevated, red, scaly or crusted plaque with a small potential to turn into an invasive SCC.


The two main causes of this skin lesion are sunlight and less commonly arsenic (rare these days). They can occur anywhere on skin or mucosal surfaces, most frequently on lower legs of elderly women. They are small, red, slightly scaly and symptomless. The surface is usually flat, but may become thickened or crusted. Ulceration is usually a sign of development into invasive SCC.


Treatments available are very similar to those for Solar Keratosis: Cryotherapy (freezing), a variety of topical creams, Curettage, Photodynamic therapy (PDT hyperlink to PDT), Laser and Surgical excision. Dermatologists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Bowen’s Disease.

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