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How can prescription creams help with actinic keratosis?

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Many of the treatments that repair other sun damage may also work for actinic keratosis (AK), such as cryotherapy, chemical peels, and laser therapy. You can also try:

  • Prescription creams. Your doctor can prescribe a few different drugs you put on your skin to treat sun-damaged areas. Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara) causes your skin to create a chemical called interferon that kills precancerous cells.
  • 5-fluorouracil (Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex) is another drug that destroys fast-growing AK cells.
  • A newer treatment called ingenol mebutate (Picato) treats the patches within two to three days.
  • If your skin is too sensitive for these creams, hyaluronic acid paired with the drug diclofenac (Solaraze) can treat AK.

From: Can You Reverse Sun Damage? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Lily Uihlein, MD, pediatric dermatologist, Loyola University Medical Center.

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Repair (and Even Reverse) Signs of Sun Damage.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Sun Exposure & Skin Cancer.”

Flament, F. , September 2013. Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology

American Skin Association: “Sun Safety.”

Cho, S. , June 2010. Dermatology

Darvin, M. , September 2014. Journal of Biophotonics

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: “Chemical Peels” and “Cryotherapy.”

Garcia, A. May 1996. Dermatologic Surgery,

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin A.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on August 11, 2017

SOURCES:

Lily Uihlein, MD, pediatric dermatologist, Loyola University Medical Center.

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Repair (and Even Reverse) Signs of Sun Damage.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Sun Exposure & Skin Cancer.”

Flament, F. , September 2013. Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology

American Skin Association: “Sun Safety.”

Cho, S. , June 2010. Dermatology

Darvin, M. , September 2014. Journal of Biophotonics

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: “Chemical Peels” and “Cryotherapy.”

Garcia, A. May 1996. Dermatologic Surgery,

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin A.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on August 11, 2017

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How can photodynamic therapy help with actinic keratosis?

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