Actinic Keratoses (Solar Keratoses)

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Actinic Keratoses:

  • Are small rough spots about 1 mm to 5 mm in diameter
  • Are usually present on sun exposed areas such as the:
    • Ears
    • Nose
    • Face
    • Tops of the hands
    • Forearms
  • Are sometimes much easier to feel than to see
  • Are caused by sun exposure that occurred 10 to 70 years before the spots appeared
  • Are not skin cancer, but may develop into a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, if left untreated
  • Do not develop into melanoma

Prevention of actinic keratoses, and other skin cancers:

  • Wear a hat with a broad brim and protective clothing (e.g. long sleeves)
  • Avoid the outdoors when the sun is strongest between the hours of 10 am to 3 pm
  • Use a sunscreen year round
  • Wear a sunscreen which resists water and sweating and which protects against both UVA and UVB
  • Reapply sunscreen every hour if you are in water or sweating heavily
  • Wear sunscreen even if you are in the shade, it is still possible to burn
  • Avoid tanning beds
    • The ultraviolet light from tanning beds in known to cause skin cancer

Treatment:

Liquid Nitrogen:

  • Is a cold freezing spray that is applied in the office
  • Causes the spots to become red, swollen and crusted
    • The spots will heal within 7 to 14 days
  • You can bathe or shower normally
  • The treated areas do not need to be covered by bandages

Prescription Creams :

  • A variety of creams are available
  • Please talk to your doctor about your options

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (ALA PDT):

What are the advantages of Levulan PDT compared with other treatments?:

  • Unlike creams it has the advantage of being able to treat large areas in a single visit
  • Unlike liquid nitrogen, the treatment is not painful
  • It treats precancerous spots before they can be seen
    • Preventing skin cancer from developing

Levulan-IPL Photodynamic Therapy

  • Non-invasive and effective
  • Used to treat acne, actinic keratoses (prec-cancerous sun spots) as well as sun-damaged skin
  • Acts by killing acne causing bacteria, overactive oil glands and premalignant skin cells and precancers
  • Almost any area can be treated including:
    • Face and neck
    • Arms and hands
    • Feet and legs
    • Chest and back
    • Scalp
  • The Levulan-IPL PDT treatment works with most skin types (I-IV) (from pale Caucasian to dark European and very light Asian)
  • Levulan-IPL PDT cannot be used for darker skin types (V, VI) (South Asian, African) or if you have a tan
    • In this situation  I recommend Blue Light PDT instead, which:
      • Can be used in all skin types
      • Can be used even if the skin is tanned
      • To learn more about Blue Light PDT, please click here
  • As an added bonus, Levulan PDT also treats:
    • Brown freckling
    • Enlarged pores
    • Sun damage
    • Depleted skin collagen
  • All of these lead to smoother, younger looking skin and reduced redness at the same time
  • The cost of Levulan PDT is partially covered on most private drug insurance plans
  • The cost of Levulan PDT is not covered on the Ontario ODSP (OHIP) drug plan for patients over 65 years of age
  • If you would like to learn more about Levulan PDT for the treatment of actinic keratoses and skin cancer prevention, please click here

What if you are interested to learn more?

  • If you would like to learn more:
    • Please click on the blue text links above
    • E-Mail Us
    • Or call our aesthetic centre directly at (905) 549-7873 to book a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable technicians

Would you like to see a Video Demonstration?

  • I am pleased to offer a new section on the website with video demonstrations of various procedures
  • To watch a video-clip in which Dr. V talks about: