What is it?
Actinic keratosis a pre-malignant condition of the skin caused by sun damage. It consists of scaly or crusty patches on skin, most commonly in sun-exposed areas such as face, scalp, arms, and legs. The patches of actinic keratosis usually range 2-6mm in size. Left untreated it has up to 20% risk of progression to squamous cell carcinoma.
What treatments are available?
Actinic keratosis is easy to diagnose clinically, and there are a number of treatment options available:
- Cryosurgery: freezing it off with liquid Nitrogen
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves applying a chemical such as Levulan, which sensitizes the lesion to light. The affected skin is then exposed to a special blue light source such as “Blu-U” or IPL or BBL to activate the chemical which was absorbed by the abnormal skin cells, causing the pre-cancerous and cancerous cells to be destroyed.
- Laser therapy with either Erbium or CO2 laser to evaporate the lesions
- Electrical cautery to simply “burn off” the lesions
- Imiquimod (Aldara), an immune enhancing agent for topical treatment
- Surgical excision
- What are the common areas of Actinic Keratosis?
The areas of your body that usually get the most sunlight, such as your face, scalp, and back of the neck.
- Is Actinic Keratosis contagious?
No, it is not contagious.
- Is it heredity?
No, if a relative has actinic keratosis that does not mean you will get it.
Come and visit our clinic to treat your actinic keratosis.
Book a free consultation today. Call us at 604-284-5501 if you have any questions. Our friendly trained staff will help you every step of the way.