L.E.D. light therapy is one of many ways to treat the results of keratosis, specifically actinic keratosis. Also known as “solar keratosis” and “senile keratosis”, it is a condition which produces thick, scaly or crusty patches of skin. The resulting bumps are usually dry and rough to the touch, with colors ranging from dark or light, tan, pink or red. It will appear on any area of the body that is exposed to the sun.
This particular skin disorder is most common in fair skinned people and those who are constantly exposed to the sun. Persons taking immunosuppressive drugs, for example those taken by organ donors are also susceptible to the disorder. It is what is known as a malignant condition. This means that if it is left undiagnosed and untreated, cancer could be a result. In fact, the appearance of actinic keratosis is associated with significantly increased risk of cancer.
The best way to diagnose actinic keratosis is through medical examination where, if necessary, a biopsy may be performed to determine whether cancer is present. Treatment varies and includes:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Cryosurgery wherein liquid nitrogen is employed to freeze off the blemishes
- Medicated creams and lotions
- Laser therapy which diffuses the lesions
- Electrocautery which involves literally burning off the blemishes using electricity
- Photodynamic therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves a combination of chemicals and L.E.D.s (light emitting diode) to treat actinic keratosis. PDT is a medical treatment that utilizes a photosensitizing drug with the L.E.D. light. The chemical, aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is applied directly to affected area; some hours later the skin is exposed to L.E.D. which effectively kills the affected skin cells. Don’t panic if there is some inflammation. This happens because as the skin cells are killed as a result of the treatment, they can become intensely inflamed causing redness as well as painfulness, itching and burning.
Note, L.E.D. light therapy in and of itself is not an effective course of treatment. True, the L.E.D. stimulates collagen production in the skin which leads to pore shrinkage and thus a smoother complexion; it will not however reverse any damage to the skin caused by sun exposure leading to keratosis.
Always research any recommended treatment thoroughly in consultation with a medical professional. Keep in mind that not all treatments are effective and some can even do more harm than good. Be careful.
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