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Actinic Keratoses

Actinic Keratoses Treatment

What is Actinic Keratoses?

Chronic sun exposure damages skin cells and typically results in a change in the skin’s texture, leading to excessive wrinkles and variable degrees of skin thickening and thinning. Up to 90% of the wrinkles and brown spots we see on our faces are not age related, but actually caused by UV radiation from the sun. Sun-caused discolorations called actinic keratoses (AKs) may develop into cancer if untreated.

AKs are generally rough, dry, scaly patches on the skin and are often referred to as “sun spots”. They most often are found on sun exposed areas such as the face, scalp, ears, neck, hands and arms. They range in colour from skin toned to reddish brown and range in size from a small pinpoint to the size of a quarter. When AKs and skin cancers are caught in the early stages, they are treatable and curable.

Individuals most at risk of developing AKs include those that have:

  • History of cumulative sun exposure
  • Fair skin
  • Blonde or red hair (especially if combined with blue, hazel or green eyes)
  • Tendency to freckle or burn after sun exposure
  • Weakened immune system

How is Actinic Keratoses treated?

Current treatments include cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen, curettage, electrosurgery, excision, dermabrasion, laser surgery, imiquimod, diclofenac, 5-flourouracil and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with topical aminolaevulinic acid (ALA). In patients with multiple AK lesions, PDT therapy may be the best choice as it may be used over large areas in a single treatment.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the use of Blu-U blue light to activate a photosensitizer (Levulan, ALA). The Levulan topical solution is applied and then absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells sensitive to light. Exposure to the
Blu-U light causes reactions that destroy the AK cells.

Topical PDT is effective in treating certain non-melanoma skin cancers and there are several studies suggesting its potential in treating acne, photoaging, viral warts, and morphea. It offers high cure rates with excellent or good cosmetic outcome and is generally well tolerated by patients.

For more information as to how these treatments work, please consult Dr. Usman at Cozmedic Laser Clinic (905) 764-5288.

All of our treatments are Supervised by Dr. Abida Usman, MD.
Our treatments are optimized to be non-surgical.
Book your consultation now – Call: 905.764.5288
 

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