PDT for The Treatment of Actinic Keratosis
The dermatologists at Houston Dermatology Associates in Houston, Texas, offer general, medical, and cosmetic dermatology solutions for patients in and around the area. One condition they see that needs further treatment before it becomes a problem is actinic keratosis. Continue reading to learn more about this condition and what you can do to treat it effectively–and safely!
What is actinic keratosis?
Actinic keratosis, also referred to by medical professionals as solar keratosis, or “AK” for short, is a precancerous lesion that arises from extensive sun exposure. The lesions appear as rough, scaly areas on sun exposed areas and can range in color from flesh-toned to darker brown or black.
What happens if actinic keratosis is not treated?
If left untreated, actinic keratosis can potentially develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a unique type of skin cancer. Thus, it is important to have any suspicious lesion evaluated by a dermatologist and treated as necessary.
What are some of the more common treatment options recommended for actinic keratoses?
Treatment options include cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen), topical treatments, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and surgical removal.
What is PDT?
PDT stands for photodynamic light therapy. This treatment is highly recommended for patients with multiple actinic keratoses who may benefit from treating multiple lesions in one area at once. Photodynamic therapy is an in-office procedure that involves applying a topical medication to make the skin sensitive to light and then exposing the affected area to specific wavelengths of light. This targets and destroys precancerous cells while leaving the healthy surrounding skin unharmed.There is very minimal downtime and patients often prefer this method of treatment.
What do I need to know if i have been diagnosed with actinic keratosis
Individuals with actinic keratosis need to use sunscreen on a regular basis, limit UV exposure, and have frequent, regular skin exams to prevent or catch any potential skin cancers early. If you want to be evaluated by one of our skin cancer professionals at Houston Dermatology Associates, you may book an appointment by calling (713) 790-0058. The office is at 6560 Fannin, Suite #1720, and is open to new and returning patients.