Actinic Keratosis Treatment in London
Actinic keratosis or AK is a pre-malignant condition of the skin. Actinic keratosis is easily treated with laser treatment. The key to successful treatment is early diagnosis. Actinic keratosis can progress from milder forms to more serious types of skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma. Our skin cancer screening programme is very effective for identifying early forms of actinic keratosis leading to swift treatment.
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What is Actinic Keratosis?
Initial signs are scaly, or crusty growths on the skin, perhaps several lesions close together. They can vary in colour, from red, to pink, to tan, or be the same colour as your skin and hard to detect, sometimes easier to feel than see.
Even if you can see a few areas, people who have the condition often find this occurs afresh. Monitoring apart, one of the objectives of good diagnosis is to detect areas which are likely to become an issue.
As explained in the video above, it is important to regularly check your skin and have regular skin cancer screening sessions on an annual basis with our expert dermatologists at Centre for Surgery.
Treatment options for Actinic Keratosis
There are a number of well established treatments for actinic keratosis. For thinner lesions, the use of topical creams is often used while cryotherapy is often used for larger lesions. Resurfacing treatments such as chemical peels are known for having positive anti-aging effects but are also known to be effective for the treatment of multiple actinic keratosis on the face. The damaged skin is replaced by newer more youthful skin in approximately one week.
At Centre for Surgery, the gold standard for actinic keratosis treatment is the use of Erbium YAG laser whether for spot treatment of individual lesions or full face Erbium YAG resurfacing when a patient may have multiple actinic keratoses. Laser is particularly good for precise treatment in difficult to access or sensitive areas like the eyelid region. The use of laser results in minimal bleeding and virtually no downtime.
Erbium YAG laser is very efficiently absorbed by water and can therefore be used to produce minimal thermal injury. Unlike CO2 laser, Erbium YAG laser can be considered as the gold standard tool for treating superficial skin lesions. The area to be treated is first cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The skin lesions are then anaesthetised with EMLA and Erbium YAG laser is used in cold ablation mode to minimise thermal injury to the deeper skin layers. For each region, a number passes with the laser are made until complete removal is achieved.