Photodynamic therapy (PDT) A proactive stand against skin cancer
A suspicious skin lesion represents much more than a blemished complexion. It could be an indication of future risk of skin cancer – a condition which can be disfiguring and life-threatening. At his Orchard Park, NY dermatology practice, Dr. Peter Accetta offers photodynamic therapy, or PDT, for effective removal of precancerous actinic keratoses, without surgical intervention.
Photodynamic therapy uses a special light to activate photosensitizing agent which have been applied to the skin. PDT allows treatment of the entire precancerous area of face or scalp and even effective in eliminating precancerous that are not yet visible to the naked eye. This is a much more effective way to prevent future skin cancers than treating individual keratoses with liquid nitrogen.
A PDT treatment consists of the application of a photosensitizing solution to the face or scalp. Over the course of one hour this solution finds its way into the sun damaged cells. Next the Blu-U fluorescent light is applied for 15minutes which destroys the precancers and is even effective against small skin cancers.
A typical treatment plan includes several PDT sessions, spaced several weeks apart, with progressive improvement seen after each one.
Dr. Accetta may prescribe PDT alone or as part of a combination therapy for treatment of AK. Photodynamic therapy can be an adjunct to cryosurgery, or used alternately with topical medications to remove AK over a period of months.
An actinic (or solar) keratosis is a reaction to cumulative sun exposure, which causes skin’s DNA to mutate. Thus, AKs commonly occur on sun-exposed areas of skin such as scalp, ears, neck, face, lips, forearms, and hands, after age 40.
These lesions are generally not painful, and they develop slowly. However, because AKs can progress into malignant squamous cell carcinoma (a serious type of skin cancer), it is essential to recognize them and seek qualified dermatological treatment right away.
Characteristics of actinic keratoses include:
- Patch of dry, rough, or scaly skin, less than an inch in diameter
- Hard growth that looks like a wart
- Pink, brown, or red color
- May itch or have a burning sensation
PDT treatment in Orchard Park, NY
Your health insurance may cover photodynamic therapy cost for treatment of actinic keratoses. The administrative team at Orchard Park Dermatology will be happy to obtain a coverage estimate on your behalf for PDT related to actinic keratosis or other medical conditions.
Clear, healthy skin at any age begins with a call to Orchard Park Dermatology – (716) 675-7000.