Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cell

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Treating Skin Cancer - Basal and Squamous Cell TOPICS

Treating actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis is often treated because it can turn into squamous cell cancer. But because this risk is low, treatments are generally aimed at avoiding scars or other disfiguring marks as much as possible.

Actinic keratosis is commonly treated with either cryosurgery or topical creams or gels such as fluorouracil (5-FU), imiquimod, diclofenac, or ingenol mebutate. These treatments destroy the affected area of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Simply destroying the affected parts of the epidermis usually cures actinic keratosis.

Other localized treatments (shave excision, curettage and electrodesiccation, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, chemical peeling) are also sometimes used.

Last Medical Review: 10/21/2013
Last Revised: 02/20/2014