Actinic Keratosis In Naperville, IL

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What is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic Keratosis is a common precancerous skin condition primarily caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. These lesions appear as small, red, or pink-colored spots with a rough sandpaper-like texture. Actinic keratoses tend to be more easily felt than seen, as they can be accompanied by a rough or gritty sensation when running a finger over the affected skin. They are considered precancerous because there is a risk that a small percentage of these lesions may progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. It is important to detect and treat them early to prevent any progression.

How is Actinic Keratosis Treated?

Actinic Keratosis is commonly treated with various methods to eliminate or manage the lesions and reduce the risk of progression to skin cancer. The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the number of lesions, their location, and the patient's overall health. Your provider will begin with dermoscopy, which is a non-invasive technique to evaluate the skin lesions to determine the treatment plan for you. Some treatment options include:

In-office Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the abnormal cells in AK lesions.

Topical Prescription Medications: Topical medications like imiquimod, fluorouracil (5-FU), or diclofenac are applied directly to the affected skin. These medications work to destroy or induce the immune system to eliminate abnormal cells with the AK lesions.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): PDT involves the application of a photosensitizing agent, such as aminolevulinic acid (ALA) or methyl aminolevulinate (MAL), to expose the AK lesions. After a specified incubation period, the treated areas are exposed to a specific wavelength of light. This light activates the photosensitizer, leading to the destruction of targeted cells.

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