How is actinic keratosis treated?

In most cases, actinic keratosis can be treated and cured. The outcome is more favorable if the condition is detected during its early stages. Treatment options include the following:

  • Topical (applied directly to the skin) lotions or creams
  • Cryosurgery (freezing)
  • Electrosurgery (use of an electric current)
  • Dermabrasion (the skin is frozen and then a specialized instrument is used to "sand" the skin)
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT uses a cream applied to the skin and a special light to destroy pre-cancer cells of the skin.

The type of treatment depends on the location, number, size, and severity of the lesions. A combination of methods might be used in some cases.

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