3.3 million Americans are affected by skin cancer each year, making it the most common and prevalent cancer in the country. In most cases, skin cancers are safely treated, but could become dangerous—even fatal—if untreated. That is why the importance of your skin’s health and overall skin protection cannot be overemphasized. But even if you have experienced sun damage in the past, there may be ways to reverse that damage before it becomes too serious!
Pharmaceutical and technological advancements allow medical specialists to prevent potentially cancerous skin damage through a method called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). This treatment uses special topical medication combined with blue light therapy to selectively target and treat an area of skin damage and precancerous actinic keratoses. The topical medication is a photosensitizing agent, which is applied to the skin, selectively absorbed by the precancerous cells, and allowed to incubate for one to 24 hours. Following incubation, the skin is exposed to the blue light in order to activate the photosensitizer, leading to the destruction of the precancerous cells.
Thousands of people may want to consider Photodynamic Therapy, particularly individuals with fair skin who may have suffered sun damage in the past. Compared with other topical treatments, photodynamic therapy typically requires less downtime or recovery with approximately one week of redness expected. Occasionally, patients may have stronger reactions with more extended redness and scaling. PDT may prove more cost efficient than other cancer treatments and, because it is a widely accepted method of treatment for potentially dangerous skin damage, is usually covered by insurance.
While PDT is largely used to reduce skin cancer and sun exposure damage, there are other benefits to the treatment as well. Medical specialists believe it has the ability to treat scaly skin, blotchy pigmentation, and reduce oil glands. The treatment may also be used for moderate to severe cases of acne.
Because the skin is the largest organ of the human body, it plays an integral role in protecting us. With such an important function in our overall health, the skin deserves the best in healthcare technology and treatments. In addition to Photodynamic Therapy our board-certified physicians and staff offer a wide array of cosmetic treatments and services to keep the skin healthy and glowing. Helmed by Dr. Tripp Parker, both Elevate Medical Spa & Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Cancer Consultants offer the latest in skin cancer prevention and intervention. We want to make sure your skin is beautiful and healthy - come talk to us for any questions you may have!