The sun, the sand, and the sea — California is a haven for beach lovers. However, a little too much of anything can cause serious problems. The sun, for example, can cause actinic keratosis, a skin condition also known as sunspot or solar keratosis. When your skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet (UV) light, whether natural from the sun or artificial from UV lighting and tanning beds, a thick, dry, scaly bump can form on your skin. Even worse, if you don’t seek treatment immediately, actinic keratosis can turn into a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
The good news is that Crystal Cove Dermatology in Newport Beach is offering a variety of treatments for actinic keratosis that you can book today. But first, what are the symptoms of actinic keratosis?
Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis
You’ll know that you have actinic keratosis if you have the following symptoms:
- a group of thick, dry, scaly and itchy bumps or plaques on the skin;
- has white to brown or pink to red color;
- appears on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, lips, scalp, neck, chest, hands, back of arms or forearms;
- usually measures between 2mm and 6mm (anything larger than 10mm may have grown into skin cancer).
Treatments for Actinic Keratosis
Crystal Cove Dermatology in Newport Beach has different treatments available for actinic keratosis.
Photodynamic Light Therapy
If you want a non-evasive yet effective treatment for actinic keratosis, then Photodynamic Light Therapy or PLT is the right treatment for you. A topical pharmaceutical medicine called Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) or Levulan is applied to the skin and left on the affected area for one to three hours, depending on the current condition of your skin. Afterward, a narrow band of blue light will activate the medicine to kill the pre-cancerous cell formation, smoothing out the skin and leaving the healthy cells untouched. PLT is the right treatment for large affected areas.
Cryotherapy has increased in popularity as a weight-loss treatment. However, it can also cure a variety of skin conditions including actinic keratosis. By exposing the affected area to liquid nitrogen, which has an extremely cold temperature, the pre-cancerous cell formation will freeze and fall off after a few days or weeks. Unlike PLT, cryotherapy is more appropriate for small affected areas.
Electrodesiccation and Curettage
Electrodesiccation and Curettage or ED&C is a quick procedure that is performed only when PLT and cryotherapy fail to remove all of your actinic keratosis. Any formation left on your skin will be scraped with a curette after the local anesthesia takes effect. Afterward, the affected area will be cauterized to remove more severely damaged tissue. It may require up to two ED&C’s to completely remove your actinic keratosis.
Are you suffering from actinic keratosis? Well, then, what are you waiting for? Contact Crystal Cove Dermatology in Newport Beach and schedule an appointment today!