Photodynamic Therapy as a Treatment Option for Actinic Keratosis
Photodynamic therapy involves exposing the actinic keratosis to laser light for a short amount of time, after a dye which sensitizes the skin to light is applied to add to the treatment's efficacy. The goal of the treatment is to initiate cell death in the AK lesions. Within several days of treatment, the actinic keratosis and some of the surrounding skin will begin to scab, and flake away.
There may be some pain with the treatment, and the patient will be required to avoid further sun exposure to the area that was treated. As the treatment requires the laser light to contact the cells, it will not be as effective in treating lesions that are very large or advanced.
One major advantage is that it is convenient when treating multiple or extensive actinic keratosis.
For treating large areas, more than one session of treatment may be required. It also improves the surrounding skin, and may have some tertiary cosmetic benefits beyond the removal of the AK lesion.
This is a very popular treatment option among patients when compared to physical surgery due to its short recovery time and general efficacy.
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