Electrocautery at our Orlando dermatology practice
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that can lead to skin cancer. It is important to treat AKs because there is no way to tell when or which lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Click here for more information on Skin Cancer.
Treatment of Actinic Keratoses
AKs develop as the result of years of sun exposure. Because the effect of sun exposure is cumulative, it is your lifetime exposure that increases your risk. Even if you didn't suntan much, years of doing simple tasks, such as going to the mailbox, playing an outdoor sport or walking the dog, can add up to a significant amount of sun exposure. You can also accumulate exposure from UV rays inside while driving your car or working behind a sunlit glass window.
What is Photodynamic Therapy with Levulan® Kerastick?
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is an FDA approved treatment for pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis (AKs) and Levulan® Kerastick is aminolevulinic acid HCI (for Topical Solution, 20%).
The Levulan® Kerastick plus Photodynamic Therapy using the BLU-U®, blue light illuminator is indicated for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick actinic keratoses (Grade 1 or Grade 2) of the face or scalp. The 2-part treatment is unique because it uses a light-activated drug therapy to destroy AKs.
Why choose PDT with Levulan® Kerastick?
Two (2) photodynamic treatments are administered by a qualified healthcare professional with the following conveniences:
Part 1 - treatment administered (at our office)
- No daily medications
- No downtime
Part 2 - treatment completed (at our office)
- All in less than 24 hours
How is this procedure conducted?
One of our providers will uniformly apply Levulan® Kerastick Topical Solution to your AK lesions. Your provider will direct you to wait the recommended time in order to allow the solution to be absorbed by the AKs cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AKs cells are exposed to the BLU-U® blue light illuminator, a reaction occurs which destroys the AK cells.
Before the treatment starts?
Be sure to tell your physician if you are taking any oral medications or using any topical prescription or non-prescription products on your face or scalp. Bring adequate sun-protective items with you the day of your treatments such as a wide-brimmed hat and/or umbrella.
After the PDT treatment with Levulan® Kerastick?
The BLU-U® blue light illuminator uses low intensity and will not heat the skin. However, during the light treatment, you may experience sensations of tingling, stinging, prickling or burning of the treated AKs. These feelings of discomfort should improve at the end of the treatment but may take up to 24 hours.
There is very little downtime. But, patients must avoid exposure of the photosensitized lesions on the face or scalp to sunlight or any other forms of bright light for at least 48 hours (including indoor house-hold lights). Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions cause by the visible light. Moisturizers may be applied as needed.
If you are interested in Phytodynamic Therapy (PDT) with Levulan® Kerastick for the treatment of your AKs, call Orlando dermatology practice at 800-827-SKIN (7546) to schedule a consultation with a healthcare providers.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided by this site is intended solely for educational purposes. This information is not to be used for medical diagnostic purposes and is not intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical/surgical condition. Most of all, this information should not be used in place of a physician or other qualified health provider. If you believe you have a medical condition, please contact your physician immediately.
My mother and I come every 6 weeks to have chemical peels for sun damage and to prevent further skin cancer. Our esthetician is Jenny Paul and she is wonderful. We drive an hour to come to her location because she takes such amazing care of us. She is kind, thoughtful, informative and a joy to be around. Thank you to Associates in Dermatology for hiring such a wonderful person to take care of us!
— Vicki P