Actinic Keratosis/Pre-Cancerous Lesions Overview
With skin cancer on the rise, it’s common to worry about any changes or abnormalities we notice on our skin. While some change is normal and to be expected as we age, it is important to be on the lookout for changes that are out of the ordinary or that contain any of the common skin cancer warning signs.
A pre-cancerous lesion, or actinic keratosis, is a lesion that appears on the skin over time and is different from a typical age spot. Actinic Keratosis is the result of direct UV exposure and can present as a scaly growth in areas of high sun exposure, commonly the face, back of hands, and ears.
Pre-cancerous lesions usually start out very small and are often felt rather than seen, as they tend to be rough and/or crusty. They may appear red, pink, dark, or even the same tone as your skin, and sometimes these lesions may itch or become slightly inflamed.
Because pre-cancerous lesions indicate sun damage and put you at an increased risk for developing skin cancer, it is important to treat pre-cancerous lesions as soon as possible. Cosmetic Laser Dermatology’s skin care experts are highly experienced at treating and removing pre-cancerous lesions through a cutting-edge procedure called photodynamic therapy (PDT).
PDT is a non-invasive outpatient procedure in which the topical photosensitizing agent Levulan is applied to the treatment area, and it is then activated by a very specific wavelength of light. The light initiates the photochemical reaction, which destroys the unwanted lesion. This treatment is very effective and commonly used in correcting skin damage caused by the sun, acne, and rosacea.
Sun protection in the form of broad-spectrum sunscreen, protective clothing, and hats, while avoiding sun exposure during the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM help reduce a person’s risk of developing skin cancer.
Our San Diego dermatologists understand that each patient with skin cancer is unique and encourage you or your loved one to receive an evaluation if you have a concerning spot or pre-cancerous lesion. If caught early, pre-cancerous lesions are easily treated.
Q: Who is at risk of developing pre-cancerous lesions?
Q: How can I prevent pre-cancerous lesions?
Q: What are the signs of a pre-cancerous lesion?
Q: Is the Photodynamic Therapy treatment painful?
Q: How effective is PDT at killing the pre-cancer?
Q: ow much does a pre-cancerous lesion treatment cost?
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