BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-218654

Actinic cheilosis: early intervention prevents malignant transformation

  1. Laliytha Bijai Kumar2
  1. 1Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Saveetha University Saveetha Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. 2Saveetha University Saveetha Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Arvind Muthukrishnan, arvindmuthukrishnan{at}
  • Accepted 4 March 2017
  • Published 20 March 2017


Potentially malignant disorders (PMD) have a high risk of malignant transformation. Habits such as tobacco and alcohol use predispose to PMD and subsequently to an oral carcinoma. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) can occur even without the usage of tobacco. Occupational exposure to actinic rays may predispose to the development of OSCC in the lip. People who are involved in farming or those exposed to an environmental background radiation, such as ultraviolet rays, develop a PMD called actinic cheilosis. A high proportion of patients with actinic cheilosis develop an oral carcinoma when not diagnosed and treated in early stages. This case depicts the clinical and histological changes in a 61-year-old Indian man with actinic cheilosis.


  • Contributors This article was authored by AM and LBK, who were involved in examining the case, recording the history and performing necessary investigation. AM and LBK were also involved in following the case, during post-treatment, and in preparation of the final manuscript. AM also submits that all details in the case report are original.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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