Actinic Keratosis (AK’s), rough, scaly, and potentially dangerous patches or bumps that appear on the skin surface, can now be effectively treated with Blue Light. If left untreated, AK’s can develop into skin cancers called squamous cell carcinomas. The Blue Light can render the small but not-to-be-ignored pre-cancerous patches harmless. The skin can also be prepared prior to Blue Light treatment with the topical photosensitizing drug Levulan, which intensifies the Blue Light effect. This combined therapy has cosmetic benefits too, as it helps correct photoaging. The number of Blue Light sessions recommended for proper treatment is determined by the dermatologist.
NYDG FLASH FACTS
- As dermatologists, we advise all patients to have regular skin cancer screenings (twice a year for susceptible skin). In between dermatological screenings, patients should regularly examine their own skin, looking at moles for:
A – Asymmetry. Two sides not alike
B – Border. Irregular, wavy or indistinct border
C – Color. Varied and inconsistent
D – Dimension. Change in size
E – Elevation. Patch is raised above surrounding skin
- Skin cancer is now the most prevalent form of cancer in the U.S., but it is highly treatable if detected early and a dermatologist is consulted.
- The best way to prevent AK’s is with rigorous sun protection. Always use a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen like La Roche-Posay’s FDA approved products, or NYDG’s Physician’s UV Defense, developed by l dermatologist David Colbert, M.D.
- Blue Light is one among many methods the dermatologist might choose to treat Actinic Keratoses.