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Actinic Keratosis Treatment from a Memphis Dermatologist

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (03/25/2024)



Invisible light, or UV light, is the major cause of aging of our skin, sunburn, and Skin Cancer, giving our skin a leather-like texture that dermatologists call Photoaging. Let’s look at the management of Actinic Keratosis (also called Solar Keratosis) – what they are, why they’re important, and management – my perspective is that of a practicing Memphis Dermatologist these past 31 years – with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates – 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018: 1-901-753-0168).




An Actinic Keratosis (plural: solar keratoses) is a skin roughness caused by UV light exposure, often starting in a person’s twenties and thirties. Solar keratoses occur in all races but are common among people who like to spend time in the sun or in tanning parlors.



What does an Actinic Keratosis look like?


It’s often rough, dry, and scaly, most frequently in sun-exposed parts of the body. They frequently become itchy or sore, being skin that’s been damaged by UV light.




Why are Actinic Keratoses important?


10 and 20% of these lesions later develop into a type of Skin Cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma, or Squamous Cell Skin Cancer, a condition that’s unfortunately increasing rather than decreasing in incidence. Approximately 9,000 Americans die of Squamous Cell Skin Cancer each year, the same level of fatalities that we’re currently seeing from the Melanoma type of Skin Cancer.




Fortunately, in 2024, Dermatologists will have a growing number of effective tactics for the prevention of Actinic Keratoses. Regular use of “broad spectrum” sunscreens rated SPF 35 or higher are certainly helpful in prevention. Sun-protective clothing – and avoiding harsh mid-day sun – are other helpful moves. One sunscreen – Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 50 – now available through Big River Silk Skincare – a company of which I’m the President – is appealing because it’s less likely to run into one’s eyes.



Dermatologists like myself fortunately have a growing array of helpful Actinic Keratosis treatments. We often use what’s called cryotherapy or freezing with liquid nitrogen to treat Solar Keratoses. Another option – called photodynamic therapy – uses a sun-sensitizing chemical to remove this type of growth from the skin.



Dermatologists now have three main prescription creams for solar keratoses:


a.) fluorouracil cream (Efudex® Cream, Carac® Cream, and Fluoroplex® Cream) – a chemotherapy agent that’s been used internally for many years.

b.) imiquimod cream (Aldara® Cream), an agent that works on the immune responses of the skin and

c.) Diclofenac Cream (Solareze® Cream), a topical Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent.



We also often use two additional topical creams for Solar Keratoses, though they have not been formally demonstrated to be effective before the FDA:

a.)a prescription Tretinoin cream (also called Retin® A Cream and Renova® Cream) – a vitamin A chemical and

b.)Alpha-hydroxy acid cream (AHAs) –originally discolored in fruits and sugarcane – such as Glycolic Acid – present in GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Lotion– and GlycoShea™ Hand&Body Lotion- products of Big River Silk Skincare Inc. (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com), of which I am the President.







If you or a family member has a skin growth or lesion that’s changing or enlarging, it’s a wise move to get that lesion checked by a Board-certified Dermatologist. My own Memphis Dermatology practice is in Cordova, TN, a suburb near Germantown, Collierville, and Bartlett. You can also find a “Dermatologist Near Me”, “Dermatologists Near Me”, or “Best Dermatologist Near Me” by going to the American Academy of Dermatology website: AAD.org. Just plug your zip code into the ‘Find a Dermatologist’ tab, and you’ll get a list of Dermatologists near you.













George R. Woodbury Jr. M.D.


8143 Walnut Grove Road

Cordova, TN 38018

(901) 753-0168 (Office)

(03/25/2024)



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