Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Light Therapy for Precancerous Skin Lesions

But it's more painful, time consuming than common treatment, dermatologist notes

continued...

Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, said photodynamic therapy might also be an improvement on topical chemotherapy. This treatment -- placing an anti-cancer medication on the skin lesions -- "remains a workhorse for the treatment of skin with areas of actinic keratoses," he said.

But the crusty wounds it causes can be unsightly for more than a month, he said. Photodynamic therapy "would be a welcomed treatment from that standpoint, as the downtime would be less," he said.

For isolated actinic keratoses, Salomon said, almost anything works: laser, liquid nitrogen or a surgical shave.

"That being said, the recurrence of lesions is expected in the majority of patients with any of the treatments, due to sun damage to their entire exposed skin. These patients all require regular surveillance for new or recurrent lesions," he said.

For the study, Eisen and colleagues analyzed four studies that compared photodynamic therapy with cryotherapy. These studies included 641 patients with a total of more than 2,000 lesions treated with cryotherapy and more than 2,000 treated with photodynamic therapy.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Woman checking out tan lines
SLIDESHOW
Cancer Fighting Foods Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
Could Caffeine Help Fight Skin Cancer
VIDEO
 

12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
ARTICLE
precancerous lesions slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
VIDEO
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
ARTICLE
 

screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
 
Is That Mole Skin Cancer
VIDEO
Brilliant sun rays
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections