As you likely already know, spending time in the sun can lead to sun damaged skin. Over time, growths may develop on skin that has been frequently exposed to the sun. An actinic keratosis is one type of growth which is linked to ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. Typically characterized by a scaly, crusty texture and pink, red or brown coloring, actinic keratoses have the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma (a dangerous type of skin cancer) if left untreated. Thus, actinic keratosis treatment is commonly recommended as a preventative measure.
What Is An Actinic Keratosis & How Is It Treated?
Actinic keratoses can form on many different parts of the body. Most commonly, they appear in places that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the neck, ears, lips, face, hands, scalp and forearms. If your dermatologist finds one or more actinic keratoses on your skin, they may advise you to consider treatment. There are several methods which may be used for actinic keratosis treatment and removal, including:
- Curettage & desiccation, in which the lesion is scraped off and then destroyed using a chemical agent or heat
- Photodynamic therapy, which involves the application of a light-sensitizing topical agent followed by the use of high-intensity red or blue light to get rid of the growth
- Topical treatments, which treat the growth with minimal chance of scarring
- Combination treatments, in which multiple treatment methods are used to destroy the lesion
The right actinic keratosis treatment will vary from patient to patient. Ultimately, it will depend on individual factors such as the location and number of actinic keratoses present and whether the patient has certain risk factors.
Visit Kessel Dermatology for Safe & Effective Actinic Keratosis Treatment
If you have noticed signs of sun damage on your skin, such as a growth that fits the description for an actinic keratosis, it may be time to call Kessel Dermatology. One of our experienced and compassionate team members will thoroughly examine your skin using advanced methods to locate any suspicious spots. If we find anything concerning, we will evaluate the spot and suggest which treatment method(s) might be best for you.
Our mission is to provide the very best care while helping our patients keep their skin healthy. If you are due for an annual skin exam or you have a skin concern, reach out to us today at 609-890-2600.