If you have sun damage, precancerous growths on your skin, or other health problems, you might be a good candidate for photodynamic therapy. At Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia, we can use this sophisticated medical treatment to address these skin conditions and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer in the future.
What Are the Benefits of Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic therapy, also known as PDT, is a medical treatment that is used to address a skin problem called actinic keratosis. If you do not treat this health condition, these precancerous growths may turn into squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma. Using PDT to eliminate these growths will provide you with several significant benefits.
It’s Very Efficient
Certain topical medications will take a long time to treat actinic keratosis. If you use these medications to improve your health, your treatment plan might take several weeks to complete. In contrast, your photodynamic therapy will take a few hours to finish.
It Can Provide Aesthetic Benefits
In addition to protecting your health, this therapy can improve your appearance. Removing your precancerous growths may give your skin an even, attractive texture. In addition, this treatment may improve your sun damage, rosacea, pigmentation issues, and other aesthetic problems.
Why Have I Developed an Actinic Keratosis?
You probably already know that spending a large amount of time in strong sunlight will increase your risk of experiencing skin problems. In particular, repeated exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays may cause you to develop an actinic keratosis. In addition, you may experience this health problem if you have used tanning beds that exposed you to artificial ultra-violet light.
If you live in a very sunny area, you will also be more likely to experience this problem. In addition, you will have a higher chance of developing this skin condition after you turn 40.
What Are the Symptoms of an Actinic Keratosis?
These precancerous growths may look like scaly, thick bumps on your skin. These bumps can be brown, pink, red, or white. Your actinic keratosis may cause you to experience burning or itching sensations, and this area of your skin might feel gritty or rough.
It’s common to develop these precancerous growths in areas that receive a large amount of sun exposure. In particular, these growths may appear on your face, ears, or scalp. In addition, you could develop an actinic keratosis on your lips. If you experience this problem, your lips might be constantly dry. This problem can also cause your lips to bleed or crack.
What Will Happen During My PDT Session?
We will start your treatment by putting a pharmaceutical solution onto your target area. This substance will need to stay on your skin for one to three hours. Once a sufficient amount of time has passed, we will ask you to lie down or sit on our examination chair. At this point, you will need to put on protective eyewear.
When you are in the correct position, we will put a blue light over the skin in your target area. This part of your medical treatment will take 15 minutes to complete. During this time, this blue light will activate the solution that we have applied onto your skin, and your precancerous cells will be destroyed.
What Will Happen After I Complete My PDT Session?
To protect your skin, you will need to avoid sun exposure during the next couple of days. In addition, you will need to visit our office for a follow-up appointment after eight weeks have passed. During this meeting, we will analyze your skin’s response to your PDT treatment.
Will My Health Insurance Cover This Treatment?
Many insurance providers will cover the cost of using PDT to address an actinic keratosis that has developed on your scalp or face. Under some circumstances, your insurance provider may also pay for you to use PDT to eliminate an actinic keratosis that is on your hands, arms, chest, or neck.
Further, if you cannot use radiation or an invasive procedure to remove certain types of skin cancer, your health insurance may pay for you to use PDT to address these problems.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Developing Actinic Keratoses?
To reduce your chance of experiencing this skin issue, you should avoid spending long periods of time outside during the middle of the day. When you are spending time outdoors, you should use long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats to protect your skin from the sun. It’s also a good idea to wear clothing that has an SPF factor.
In addition, you should remember to regularly put on sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. You should purchase a sunscreen that will protect your skin from UVB and UVA rays.
Protect Your Health
If you develop an actinic keratosis or other skin problem, you shouldn’t ignore this issue. We can lower your risk of experiencing skin cancer by using photodynamic therapy to eliminate your precancerous growths. To learn more about this non-invasive medical technique, set up an initial meeting at Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia.