PRESCOTT, Ariz., April 02, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Actinic keratoses (AK) are pre-malignant lesions that occur
Dr. Fleck explains, "I treat large and/or painful AK first with liquid nitrogen cryotherapy and then recommend patients apply topical ascorbic acid to the entire field of sun damage for several months or longer."
Vitamin C has the added benefit that it appears to reduce pain and swelling from the cryotherapy treatment and results in more rapid healing afterwards.
"Most of the patients I treat have had recurrent AK for years and have undergone treatments with cryotherapy, topical chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents. They are pleasantly surprised when they observe the improvement in their skin's appearance as well as the reduction in AK from consistent application of freshly activated vitamin C," observes Dr. Fleck.
These results are noticeable in as little as 4-6 weeks.
Topical vitamin C was shown to protect against ultraviolet B radiation damage in laboratory animals over two decades ago by researchers at Duke University. No human studies have been performed and this treatment is not FDA approved for this and related claims.
Dr. Fleck cautions that vitamin C is unstable in solution, and potency of the vitamin is reduced to insignificance by 4 weeks after mixing unless stored in a refrigerator. The beneficial results are therefore dependent on using freshly activated, pharmaceutical grade 12% topical ascorbic acid, which ensures the necessary potency. This material is commercially available. Preparations of vitamin C that are pre-mixed in a lotion or cream have not demonstrated the stability to consistently deliver 12% ascorbic acid.
Patients with AK are also counseled to avoid sun exposure, wear sunscreen and protective clothing and follow up at least every 3-6 months with their dermatologist since AK can be associated with other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
Robin Fleck, M.D., is a double board certified dermatologist and internist, recognized by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is founder and medical director of Southwest Skin and Cancer Institute and Vitalité Med Spa. Dr. Fleck is also the director of Vein Specialties in Prescott, Arizona, where she treats chronic venous insufficiency, spider veins, and varicose veins.
SOURCE Southwest Skin & Cancer Institute
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