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Spots on the skin after the summer? This is how skin cancer is treated without leaving scars

Spots on the skin after the summer? This is how skin cancer is treated without leaving scars Hospital Quirónsalud Valle del Henares

How to treat skin lesions after summer: benefits of photodynamic therapy

During the summer we are more exposed to the sun and, although we protect ourselves, our skin intensely receives more solar radiation than we would like, damaging it notoriously. Detecting skin lesions in time is essential for their subsequent treatment. The good news? There is an innovative therapy, photodynamic therapy, suitable from the summer, when sun exposure is less, and capable of making these skin lesions disappear.

“Although it is a treatment that can be done throughout the year, the winter months are always more recommended, due to the lower sun exposure to which the patient is subjected, since after its completion it is advisable to completely avoid exposure for at least 48 hours. hours”, explains the doctor Ana Rita RodriguesHead of the Dermatology Service of the Hospital Quirónsalud Valle del Henares.

Main indications

Moreover, the specialist maintains that this treatment is indicated in certain types of non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma), as well as in precursor lesions of squamous cell carcinoma and in actinic keratoses, in Bowen’s disease, among other skin pathologies. skin.

“It is a treatment modality based on photo-oxidation and selective cell destruction through the use of a specific photosensitizer, which through a series of consecutive cellular reactions heals the lesion to be treated,” explains the dermatologist at Quirónsalud Valle del Henares.

no scars

The advantage of this treatment over conventional surgery, according to the expert, is to achieve a high clinical and histological cure rate, preserving the tissue and without residual scarring. Therefore, achieving a maximum aesthetic result. It also has the advantage of being able to treat premalignant lesions that are not visible to the human eye.

It also says that it can be used with variable results in various inflammatory pathologies such as: psoriasis, acne, papilloma virus infections, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, among many others. “It also has an aesthetic application, achieving rejuvenation fundamentally in those skins with significant chronic sun damage,” says the Quirónsalud expert. How does it work?

What does it consist of

Photodynamic therapy is a very simple procedure that is carried out in consultation, and which consists of the application of a photosensitizing cream in the area to be treated, which must be left in incubation for 3 hours, to later apply the light for a period of time. variable depending on the extension of the treatment field, approximately between 7 and 10 minutes.

“The application of light can be annoying in some areas, but thanks to the new lamps that allow the power to be regulated during the treatment time, the way of applying it can be individualized depending on the patient’s tolerance,” adds the dermatologist.

Specifically, it requires the presence of three elements, as detailed:

photosensitizer: substance that is applied to the patient in the area to be treated, in the form of a gel or cream; It has a high lipophilic capacity to cross biological membranes and specifically locate itself in target cells, which will be those that have abnormal multiplication and are therefore malignant or premalignant.

Light source: This is a lamp that emits light with a wavelength and power sufficient to penetrate the tumor tissue and activate the photosensitizing substance.

Oxygen: when light is applied, the photosensitizer is activated, which passes into an excited state and gives rise to a photochemical reaction with the formation of oxygen free radicals, which will produce photooxidation and destruction of the target cells; In addition to direct cell death, there is collateral damage to the vessels in the area that, together with the local inflammatory reaction and the patient’s immune response, lead to the cure of the tumor.

As for its side effects, the doctor at Hospital Quirónsalud Valle del Henares stresses that an inflammatory reaction can occur after completion of the treatment, although this is necessary for its operation, and that it gives rise to redness, inflammation, and the subsequent appearance of scabs, which will be more or less intense depending on the patient’s sun damage . “With proper dermatological monitoring, complete epidermal regeneration will have occurred in approximately 7-10 days,” the expert concludes.


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