Non Surgical Treatments – South East Dermatology
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Non Surgical Treatments

NON SURGICAL TREATMENTS FOR SUNSPOTS AND SKIN CANCER

  • There are a large number of non surgical treatments for sunspots and skin cancer.
  • You Dermatologist is an expert in the treatment of sundamage and skin cancer. They can guide you to chose the right treatment for your skin and circumstance.

CRYOTHERAPY

  • This treatment uses liquid nitrogen sprayed onto lesions to freeze the skin leading to destruction.
  • This is primarily used to treat precancerous sunspots and sometimes benign lesions such as warts and wisdom spots (seborrhoeic keratosis)
  • The treatment is uncomfortable and there is often a blister that occurs at the site.
  • In the past Liquid nitrogen has been used for superficial basal cell carcinoma and bowens disease (intraepidermal carcinoma). The cure rates are lower however for this treatment compared to other forms of treatment.

 

5-FLUOROURACIL (5-FU or EFUDIX)

  • 5-FU is used to treat sunspots and selected superficial intraepidermal carcinoma.
  • 5-FU is a topical cytotoxic agent (antimetabolite) ,it is toxic to living cells but more so to certain cancer or precancerous cells.
  • 5-FU treatment results in a localised inflammatory reaction.
  • It is generally well tolerated and is a cost effective treatment.
  • Treatment regimes vary from daily to twice daily and from 2-8 weeks.

TRADITIONAL  PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY (PDT)

  • PDT is a form of light treatment for areas of solar keratosis (sunspots) and low risk superficial skin cancers.
  • The treatment takes place in the clinic and requires one session for sunspots and two sessions for skin cancers.
  • The treatment region is prepared by light scraping with a curette.
  • Then a topical light sensitizing cream is applied to the treatment areas and absorbs into the skin over a period of 3 hours. Abnormal cells absorb more of the medicated cream.
  • Using an Aktilite lamp the cream is activated producing a photochemical reaction that preferentially damages and destroys the skin cancer / sunspots. Lamp activation takes 7-10 minutes.
  • The treatment can be irritating to the skin, but a cold fan is used to minimize this.
  • Afterwards a good moisturizer is required with PDT as the skin can dry. Slight irritation can persist like gravel rash but this is self-limiting and usually subsides after a day or two.

VIDEO THEORY OF PDT FOR SKIN CANCER

VIDEO REAL PATIENT DEMONSTRATION

DAYLIGHT PDT

  • Daylight PDT is approved to treat sunspots on the face and scalp
  • A Photosensitising cream (Metvix) is applied to the scalp , face or both
  • Within 20 minutes of cream application the patient is exposed to daylight staying outside for 2 hours
  • This one off treatment results is a mild sunburn like reaction that resolves in approximately 10 days.
  • Daylight PDT is completed onsite at our Stafford Clinic.
  • Daylight PDT is very well tolerated and clearance rates for sunspots are similar to the traditional PDT treatment.

DAYLIGHT PDT

IMIQUIMOD (ALDARA)

  • Imiquimod is a topical cream that activates your immune system.
  • It is used to treat sun spots and selected superficial (low risk) skin cancers.
  • Regimes for sunspots may take up to 3 months to complete
  • Regimes for superficial basal cell carcinoma are 6 weeks in duration.
  • The treatment causes a localised inflammatory reaction.
  • There are a number of issues to consider when prescribing imiquimod and your Dermatologist can advise you regarding this option.

INGENOL MEBUTATE (PICATO)

  • This medication is indicated for the treatment of sunspots
  • This topical medication causes a localised inflammatory reaction leading to clearance of abnormal cells.
  • The gel is applied for 3 consecutive on the face and for 2 consecutive days on the body.
  • The reaction is strong but lasts a relative short period of time (7-10 days).
  • A small number of patients may have severe reactions to this treatment and your Dermatologist will monitor and can manage this should it occur.