Harvard Health Letter

New attack on precancerous patches

Actinic keratoses (AK) are small pea-sized rough patches, often scaly and with surrounding redness, on sun-exposed skin. They look minor, but they can progress to skin cancer. Typical treatment involves freezing them, scraping them, using chemical peels, or applying medicated creams for weeks. One new treatment is photodynamic therapy (PDT). Medicine applied to AK is absorbed only by the problem cells, and then it kills them when a light is shined onto the skin. All treatments are almost always successful, although some AK can reoccur.
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