Actinic Keratosis


Address Sun Damage Before It Becomes Skin Cancer in NY

While there’s much to enjoy about spending time in the sun, prolonged and repeated sun exposure can cause the skin to develop rough, scaly precancerous patches known as actinic keratosis (AKs). NY’s Hudson Dermatology team encourages pursuing treatment as soon as possible, because although not all of these growths are symptomatic, a small percentage do evolve into squamous cell carcinoma. These patches are most likely to form on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to direct sunlight, such as the face, ears, scalp, neck, and hands.

The physicians at Hudson Dermatology treat actinic keratosis with photodynamic therapy and other effective methods, targeting and killing the problematic cells. Experienced in both medical and cosmetic treatments, our dermatologists recognize the importance of quality dermatological care to a patient’s overall health and happiness. Helping patients achieve clear, healthy skin isn’t a matter of vanity; it’s about physical health and peace of mind. Hudson Dermatology is ready to help you take the first step on your path to healthy skin.

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Schedule a consultation online for actinic keratosis at NY′s Hudson Dermatology.

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What is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a skin condition caused by frequent exposure to sunlight or UV rays in tanning beds. Symptoms can include rough, scaly patches of skin; a hard wart-like skin texture; color variations, including pink, red, or brown; and skin that itches, burns, or bleeds. Patients are most likely to notice formations of actinic keratosis on areas of the skin exposed to direct sunlight.

Patients at the highest risk of developing actinic keratosis include women and men with fair hair and light skin; people who work outside or recreationally spend a lot of time in the sun; those over the age of 40; and people with weakened immune systems. While these factors do increase the likelihood that a person will develop actinic keratosis, anyone who is concerned about their skin should schedule an appointment with a licensed dermatologist. Patients who think they have identified an actinic keratosis but aren’t certain should seek the expertise of a licensed medical professional.

While actinic keratosis is often benign, it is a type of pre-cancer. This means that when left untreated, an actinic keratosis can become cancerous, developing into a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma in roughly five to 10 percent of cases. Fortunately, squamous cell carcinoma is highly treatable, and the earlier a medical professional can identify and treat the problem, the better the outcome. Treatments for actinic keratosis at NY’s Hudson Dermatology are also highly effective and minimally invasive.

How Does Hudson Dermatology Treat Actinic Keratosis?

If the patient has only a few lesions, actinic keratoses can be easily treated with a liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy that induces the damaged precancerous skin to peel off without scarring.

The Hudson Dermatology team most frequently uses topical medications to target more extensive AKs. Our dermatologists commonly prescribe 5-fluorouracil and imiquimod, which are applied directly to the lesions. After routine application for several weeks at home, patients will find that their sun-damaged cells begin to flake and peel away.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment used to address a wide variety of conditions, including actinic keratosis. At Hudson Dermatology, we use PDT only for AK and to improve the sun-damaged skin in general. Treatment occurs in two phases: During the first phase, a medical professional applies a liquid photosensitizing agent known as Aminolevulinic acid, or ALA, to the skin being treated. This agent is left on the skin for several hours, during which the medication is absorbed by the porous, damaged precancerous cells of actinic keratoses, while healthy cells do not absorb it. The medicine is then converted by the cells into a substance that is highly sensitive to light.

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Every physician at each of Hudson Dermatology’s six locations is board certified and committed to providing quality skincare built on a foundation of advanced technology and techniques. All treatments—medical and cosmetic—are highly personalized and chosen for their safety and results.

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YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE

lab coats

Next, the treated skin is exposed to a special blue light, activating the photosensitizing agent that targets the abnormal cells. Patients may experience a slight burning or tingling sensation while the light is on. The period of light exposure varies from patient to patient, but the Hudson Dermatology team will provide you with precise details about every phase of the procedure during your consultation.

Following a PDT session, patients may experience some peeling, redness, and light sensitivity at the treatment area for the next few days. Patients should avoid exposure to sunlight and ensure the skin is protected during this period. After a few days, patients can resume their usual activities and routine. The ultimate goal of the treatment is healthier and better-looking skin.

For more information about photodynamic therapy, visit Biofrontera’s page explaining the treatment.

Help for Other Skin Conditions

There are other conditions that can cause rough and scaly patches to develop, including psoriasis and eczema. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis from an experienced dermatologist in order to start the ideal treatment as soon as possible.

For more information about actinic keratosis, visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s page on the condition.

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Contact the Hudson Dermatology team now to set up a consultation for actinic keratosis in NY. Dutchess, Westchester, Columbia, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange County residents can schedule an appointment via our online scheduler.

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FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.

FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.