Actinic keratoses(AKs) are precancerous lesions that occur on the skin as a result of sun damage. A study has shown that as many as 10{256d1e8b25b48cb3fd52c7e6d99f62cf8e092061094cd35cb21cca3f2ac29e6e} of AKs can develop into squamous cell carcinoma over a period of two years. It is important to treat these precancerous lesions before they develop into skin cancer. One treatment for patient’s who have either a few or several actinic keratoses is PDT BLU-U blue light treatment.

PDT BLU-U blue light treatment is a two-part office visit treatment. During the first part of the treatment, a chemical called Levulan is applied to the patient’s face. The patient then waits in the office for approximately an hour and a half. Following this incubation period, the patient will then sit in front of the BLU-U blue light for approximately 17 minutes. Protective eyewear is worn during this portion of the treatment.

During the treatment, especially in the first six minutes of the light exposure, a patient may experience some stinging or burning sensation of the skin that is being treated. These sensations should improve at the end of the blue light treatment and should subside after the blue light treatment has been completed. Some patients will experience a stinging sensation the evening after their treatment, which can be alleviated by taking an antihistamine. Following the treatment, the AKs and some of the surrounding skin may redden and swelling and scaling may occur. These effects are temporary and most of the redness will resolve within 7 days after the treatment. Some redness may fade more gradually and take up to 4 weeks to resolve. In clinical trials, fewer than 3{256d1e8b25b48cb3fd52c7e6d99f62cf8e092061094cd35cb21cca3f2ac29e6e} of patients discontinued light treatment due to stinging or burning.

Sun exposure should be avoided the day of and the day after PDT treatment. Sun screen, a hat and sun glasses should be used following treatment.

PDT BLU-U blue light treatment is a safe and effective treatment for actinic keratoses, which involves no risk of scarring and little down time. The areas of sun damage are effectively treated without having to use any prescription medication and many patients find improvement in the cosmetic appearance of their skin.