Many people know that overexposure to sunshine can result in sun damage to the skin. In most cases, this damage can simply appear as harmless spots. In other cases, however, the spots can become pre-cancerous health risks. At Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, one of the most important services we offer is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for at-risk skin and Actinic Keratoses––precancerous lesions that may become serious if not treated. That’s why you’re invited to contact us today and set up a consultation to learn more.
What Are Actinic Keratoses?
Actinic Keratoses are precancerous skin growths. They appear when cells in the outer layer of the skin become damaged by the sun’s rays. When these growths show up, they often appear on the face, forehead, or neck and are usually not painful. Although there is a low likelihood that any one particular spot will become cancerous, a patient with several growths may run a higher risk for skin cancer. As a result, it is wise to have these growths removed if possible. At Prizant Dermatology, we offer Photodynamic Therapy as a comfortable and effective way to treat this condition.
What Is Photodynamic Therapy?
In the past, Actinic Keratoses were often removed by using a surgical knife or liquid nitrogen. This could be very painful and sometimes even lead to scarring. Fortunately, we now have PDT, which is a much more modern approach to correcting Actinic Keratoses. This PDT procedure is often called a “field treatment,” as it can cover an entire area (or field) at once rather than dealing with each growth individually.
Photodynamic Therapy is FDA-approved for the treatment of Actinic Keratoses. It is a multi-step approach that uses light therapy to neutralize the growths and provide comprehensive, effective results, although individual results and treatment plans can vary.
How Does PDT Work?
During the treatment, a liquid substance is applied that will become absorbed by the skin. When the substance combines with sun-damaged cells, it causes them to become extremely sensitive to light. After the damaged cells have been primed for treatment, a special device exposes the damaged cells to a special wavelength of light. In the process, the damaged cells are killed by the light treatment, but healthy cells remain unharmed. After the damaged cells have undergone light therapy, the body should naturally begin to remove them from your system before they can become a cancer threat.
For patients who have extensive sun damage, multiple sessions may be recommended. In other cases, our professional may recommend a periodic maintenance treatment, especially if your skin is frequently exposed to the sun.
How to Find Out More
At Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Tracy Prizant and her staff are here for you. Are you interested in learning more about Photodynamic Therapy? You can get all the facts about this life-saving solution to Actinic Keratoses when you visit our office for a consultation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and get started!