According to extensive research, sun damage is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of skin aging and is also the number one cause of Actinic Keratosis(AK). These lesions present as red or skin colored, rough, scaly patches found on sun exposed areas such as the face, scalp, arms and hands.
Because more than half of an average person’s lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 20, keratosis can appear even in people in their early 20’s.
Read on to find out how to detect Actinic Keratosis and what you can do to treat it.
Dr. Fiona Wright’s Tip:
Actinic Keratosis (AK) can develop more commonly on fair-skin people and if left untreated they can increase in size and develop into skin cancers which may require surgical correction. Before these lesions advance to needing surgery, most can be successfully treated with prescriptive creams – but many of my patients find this topical treatment very time consuming and do not want to experience the required 6 weeks of irritated, flaky red skin that is visibly embarrassing. Another non-surgical option that we offer at Skin MD and Beyond is PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY (PDT) which is an FDA-Approved treatment which requires only 5 days of downtime and ideal for patients who not only want to avoid surgical treatments for skin cancer but also want to turn back the hands of time and rejuvenate their skin! The American Academy of Dermatology lists it as a newer treatment option with better cosmetic outcome than other therapies used to treat widespread AKs.
Signs of Actinic Keratosis Include:
- Flat to slightly raised, scaly patches on the top layer of your skin.
- Lesions (usually 1 inch or less in diameter) on your skin ranging in color from pink to red to brown, even flesh colored.
During studies conducted by the FDA for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis, patients were asked to rate the cosmetic effects of PDT. More than 90 percent rated the results as “excellent” or “good”. With the use of specific light source or laser to treat AKs, our patients tend to see a younger-looking complexion with common reports of a decrease in wrinkles, improved skin texture and reduced pore size. For more information logon to our website www.SkinMDandBeyond.com to watch an interview I did for NBC Evening Health Report on the many benefits of PhotoDynamic Therapy.