Actinic Keratosis (AKs) is a precancerous skin growth that may progress to skin cancer. The growths begin as small, scaly or crusty patches on the skin’s surface. Actinic keratoses are most commonly found on areas that are heavily exposed to the sun such as the face, ears, scalp, neck, upper back and chest, backs of hands and forearms. They usually appear red but their colors can range from light or dark tan, appear pink or a combination of these.
Occasionally it itches or produces a pricking or tender sensation. Some actinic keratoses naturally disappear only to reappear later. Often you will see several actinic keratoses at a time. Our treatments for AKs include Blu-U.
What Causes AK?
Actinic keratoses are directly related to past sun (ultraviolet) exposure. People who have lighter complexions, blonde or red hair, blue, green or gray eyes are at the greatest risk. Those with darker complexions can develop keratoses if they expose themselves to the sun without protection. If left untreated, some AKs may increase in size and pose a significant risk of developing into a form of skin cancer.
What Can Be Done?
There are a number of effective treatments for eradicating actinic keratoses. Dr. Gold will determine the best treatment method for you based on the nature of the lesion, your age and your health. These include topical agents, liquid nitrogen and a variety of surgical options.
The Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy System is a non-surgical procedure for the treatment of actinic keratoses. It is an advanced system that combines the application of a unique solution to the skin lesions and exposing the treated areas to a specialized blue light or IPL device to destroy the AKs. This process has been extensively studied by Dr. Gold and Tennessee Clinical Research Center. Dr. Gold is considered a worldwide expert in Photodynamic Therapy.
Tennessee Clinical Research Center routinely conducts clinical research studies for actinic keratosis. For more information call TCRC at 615-383-9660 or visit www.tnclinicalresearch.com to view the current list of studies.
To learn more about how your actinic keratosis can be treated by the dermatology team at Gold Skin Care, get in touch with us by calling 615-383-2400 or contacting us online today.