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Actinic keratoses

Actinic keratoses Articles

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Actinic keratosis treatments

Studies have shown that up to 25% of actinic keratoses spontaneously disappear within 1 year without treatment. Most actinic keratoses result in few symptoms and are not considered dangerous. However, treatment of actinic keratosis is considered to be a good precautionary step because there is still a risk of dangerous skin cancer in some patients. Treatments for actinic keratosis can include surgically freezing or scraping them, or less invasive treatments that involve applying cream to the damaged skin areas.

  • No therapy for mild cases of actinic keratosis. As mentioned previously, lesions disappear in up to 25% of all patients.
  • Sunblock cream containing at least 15 SPF is a home remedy for actinic keratosis that has been shown to reduce the number of actinic keratosis lesions when applied daily for at least 7 months.
  • Fluorouracil 5% cream is a chemotherapy drug that is administered twice a day for 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Imiquimod (Aldara) is another cream that is approved for actinic keratosis. It stimulates the immune system to reject mutated skin cells.
  • Cryosurgery is a simple common procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze smaller actinic keratosis legions, which eventually fall off a few days after treatment.
  • Curettage involves mechanically scraping away skin lesions. After scraping off the lesion, electrosurgery is sometimes used to destroy the remaining damaged skin cells.
  • Photodynamic therapy involves applying a light sensitive agent to the lesions followed by intense laser treatment to destroy damaged skin cells.

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