Affecting a significant portion of the adult population, actinic keratosis is a precancerous condition that should be proactively addressed through various treatments or procedures. Taking the necessary skincare precautions after these procedures is critical to reduce scar formation, discoloration, and the risk of resurgence.
Actinic Keratosis and Treatment
As we get older, evidence of the lifestyle choices we've made becomes more obvious on our bodies. This is particularly true on the skin, which has a long memory for excessive tanning and exposure to harsh UV rays from the sun. A common consequence for people who fail to take proper precautions is actinic keratosis, a rough or discolored lesion that forms on the skin.
Almost all cases of actinic keratosis (AK) are caused by excessive sunlight and UV ray exposure, which is already well known to elevate your risk for various skin cancers. Without proper and prompt treatment, actinic keratoses can develop into invasive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. While the five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is 95-98%, if the squamous cell carcinoma spreads beyond the skin, the prognosis is far less optimistic.
There are numerous treatments available for actinic keratosis, ranging from medicated creams and gels to surgical procedures that will remove the precancerous lesions. Some of these more invasive options include cryotherapy, curettage, laser therapy or photodynamic therapy.
A recent review of actinic keratosis research argues that all instances of AK should be treated, regardless of clinical severity, given their potential to metastasize. With more of these procedures taking place every year, due to an ever-aging population who loves spending time in the sun, attention must be paid to post-procedure skincare and wellness.
Post-Treatment Therapy for Actinic Keratosis
At home-management of actinic keratosis often consists of topical application of imiquimod cream (IMQ), an immune response modifier that can alleviate or eliminate AK lesions, or Flourouracil, a topical antimetabolite typically used for AK patches on the head or face. Other ointments and creams of varying strengths may also be prescribed, but physician-managed treatments are an increasingly popular option.
Cryotherapy is commonly used for single-lesion removal, and requires 1-3 freeze-thaw cycles for best results. Photodynamic therapy is often used for the scalp or forearms; photosensitizing cream is applied to the lesions before they are irradiated, eliminating the actinic keratosis. Laser therapy can quickly destroy the lesions and allow new skin to form, while excision consists of physically scraping away the damaged cells. While each strategy is effective in handling these potentially dangerous lesions, scarring, discoloration, irritation, inflammation and changes to skin texture may occur.
These AK treatment side effects are similar to many common skin complaints and conditions, and can be managed in much the same way. Hyaluronic acid is a reliable moisturizing component in skincare serums and creams, having proved its ability to speed wound healing, improve skin elasticity and suppleness, soothe inflammation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Following a successful actinic keratosis procedure, turning to products with hyaluronic acid can help improve the appearance of your newly healed skin.
A Soothing Solution from NeuLuna
Offering a twice-daily remedy for skin inflammation, irritation, dryness and discomfort, NeuLuna's Day and Night Cream is an ideal choice for home management of actinic keratosis. Whether you want to mitigate side effects of a chemical peel or reduce the appearance of scars after a curettage procedure, a gentle moisturizer with wound-healing properties is precisely what you need.
Backed by a patented delivery system for it active ingredients, NeuLuna's novel skincare solution is a reliable and affordable therapy option following actinic keratosis treatment.
Visit the our website and take the first step in proactive protection of your skin.