(PDT) is especially useful for widespread lesions on the face and scalp. The physician applies a light-sensitizing topical agent to the lesions, then uses a strong light to activate the topical agent, destroying the AKs while sparing healthy tissue.
Doctors may combine therapies for a period of time to treat AKs. Typically, treatment regimens combine cryosurgery with PDT or a topical agent like imiquimod, diclofenac, ingenol mebutate, or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The topical medications and PDT may also be used alternately every three months, six months or year, as determined by the physician at follow-up skin examinations.
If you have numerous or widespread actinic keratoses, your doctor may prescribe a topical cream, gel or solution. These can treat visible and invisible lesions with a minimal risk of scarring. Doctors sometimes refer to this type of therapy as “field therapy,” since the topical treatments can cover a wide field of skin as opposed to targeting isolated lesions. »5-fluorouracil (Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®): a form of topical chemotherapy. »Imiquimod (Aldara®, Zyclara®): A form of topical immunotherapy, it stimulates the immune system to produce interferon, a chemical that attacks cancerous and precancerous cells. »Ingenol mebutate (Picato®): A rapidly effective topical therapy derived from plants. An immunologic mechanism of action has been proposed.