Prevent skin cancer with a cosmetic treatment. If you think having a chemical peel or laser-resurfacing treatments is just for cosmetic reasons, a recent study has shown that it can also have the surprising benefit of preventing skin cancer. Chemical peel and laser treatments help improve the look and feel of your skin. They help treat the signs of aging, sun exposure damage like wrinkles pigmentation and dull skin.
In the recent study by Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Medical Center located in California, found that they could successfully treat Actinic Keratosis also known as solar keratosis. This type of keratosis is the most common type of pre-cancer skin cells. Many dermatologists believe that actinic keratoses are actually an early stage of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer. Actinic Keratosis are these scaly or crusty growths that often appear on areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, lips, bald scalp, backs of the hands and forearms, shoulders and neck. Since 40-60 percent of all squamous cell carcinomas start as actinic keratoses, this study results of treating actinic keratoses with facial resurfacing techniques will help reduce the number of actinic keratosis and help to prevent skin cancer from developing.
Most common form of treating these types of keratosis is by burning them off with liquid nitrogen or LN2 cryotherapy, which freezes them and causes a small skin burn which causes a scab and then peels of the skin. This treatment method will prevent skin cancer but in this new study Dr Susan M. Swetter and her team wanted to find another treatment method of removing these keratosis. The aim was to assess both the reductions in development of actinic keratoses and prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers. Using two groups that all had histories of scalp actinic keratoses and/or basal or squamous cell carcinoma (BCC or SCC). The control group received no treatments to prevent skin cancer and the other group of patients were treated with either a
- 5 percent fluorouracil (5-FU) cream (a topical medication) applied twice a day for three weeks,
- 30 percent TCA chemical peel,
- or a CO2 laser peel
All patients were examined every three months for two years, the amazing part was that all treatments were proven to reduce an incidence of actinic keratoses effectively at the first three-month evaluation post-treatment. The result three months after treatment show amazing results to help prevent skin cancer.
- 83% reduction after using 5-FU cream application, (62 before treatment to less than 9)
- 89% reduction after TCA treatment, (83 to less than 8);
- 92% reduction after the laser treatment, (78 to 5.5).
It was also found that all three methods reduced basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas significantly with TCA peel showing a reduction of 40 percent in up to 4.5 years of long-term follow-up, compared to the of patients (control group) that were not treated. The study was published in Arch Dermatol. 2006;142:976-982.
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So next time you are trying to justify to yourself or your partner why you should have these amazing anti-aging treatment remember you are also having a proven skin cancer prevention treatment. If you are wanting to find out more about TCA peels treatments or better wanting to have the treatment make an appointment with me today.