Actinic keratoses (AKs) are potentially premalignant cutaneous lesions that occur on chronically sunexposed regions of the body. Left untreated, a small proportion of AKs will transform into invasive squamous cell carcinomas. Treatment for AKs is broadly classified as lesion-directed therapy, and includes cryotherapy or curettage and cautery, or field treatment, which includes topical (eg 5-fluorouracil and imiquimod) and light-directed therapies. Photodynamic therapy involves application of either methyl aminolevulinate or 5-aminolevulinic acid, followed by light activation, either by red light for seven to nine minutes or continuous daylight for two hours. Ingenol mebutate is no longer considered a therapeutic option.
Modern Medicine – Issue 5 2023