Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment and management of Actinic Keratosis

Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment and management of Actinic Keratosis

Roughly one-in-ten AKs (actinic keratosis) evolve into squamous cell carcinoma. Many patients opt  to treat their Aks with liquid nitrogen (freezing) or topical creams that need to be applied for weeks at a time. More and more patients are looking for an easier, more comprehensive treatment to manage their actinic keratosis and prevention of skin cancer.

Deborah H. Atkin, M.D. and her professional staff at Dermatology & laser of Del Mar is dedicated to improving your skin-health.  If you have a history of Actinic Keratosis (AKs) or pre skin cancers; Photodynamic Therapy may be the treatment you are looking for.


What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Photodynamic therapy is FDA indicated for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick actinic keratosis of the face or scalp or body. Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly pre-cancerous patches on the skin that can lead to squamous cell carcinoma. It is important to treat AKs because there is no way to tell when or which lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is the second most common form of skin cancer.

How does it work? 

Photodynamic therapy is  a combination treatment utilizing Aminolevulonic acid and BLU-U Light. A Topical Solution is applied to the treatment area. The solution is then absorbed by rapidly dividing, or pre-cancerous cells. After a recommended incubation period the medicine is activated with laser and / or Blu-U-light. Once the medication becomes active it degrades the harmful, pre-cancerous cells so that they may be eliminated from the body, therefore reducing your skin cancer risk. 



Before and after Photodynamic Therapy







What’s the downtime?

Patients treated with Photodynamic Therapy should avoid sun and bright overhead light exposure to the treated area  for 36-48 hours. You may also have a mild to moderate amount of redness and swelling. This can be controlled with topical corticosteroid creams. 

How do I know if I am a good candidate for this treatment?

If you have a history of AKs and/or squamous cell skin cancer, this may be the perfect solution to managing your age and sun related skin damage. 

Contact our office and schedule a Skin Cancer Body Check and evaluation for Photodynamic Therapy. We will discuss the procedure with you and help you plan for your treatment. 

Does insurance cover this treatment? 

We are able to bill  Medicare and most PPO commercial insurance plans  for Photodynamic Therapy, provided there is a history of actinic keratosis and / or skin cancer. 

Call us today at (858) 350-7546 to schedule an appointment to better manage your sun damage. 

Inside Header