980 JOHNSON FERRY RD NE. SUITE 430 | ATLANTA, GA 30342

2665 N DECATUR RD SUITE 730 | DECATUR, GA 30033

Serving the Atlanta and Decatur communities for over twenty years.

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404-508-4320

SUN AND LASERS

The sun is not always our friend, especially when it comes to skin. Overexposure over time to the sun can cause skin problems, from minor to major.  But the good news is that lasers can solve both minor and major skin problems:  both the purely cosmetic, bothersome spots,  AND the more major,  pre-malignant AK (actinic keratosis), which can lead to squamous cell carcinoma. 

COSMETIC

veins face me spots

The above picture is an example of a minor (as far as health is concerned) result of overexposure to the skin. Dark spots like those pictured can form on the face, hands and arms.  A quick pass with the laser causes these spots to disappear.  The laser light causes all the pigment from the spots to rise to the surface of the skin.  Then over a period of 2 or 3 days, the pigment flakes off the skin, leaving healthy skin behind.

veins arm spots

sun damage on arm

ACTINIC KERATOSIS

This skin condition affects more than 58 million Americans. Those at risk for AK tend to be fair-skinned people who have spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun or who have exposed their skin to indoor tanning radiation.    AK typically appears on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, rim of the ears, back of the neck, bald scalp, lips, the back of the hands, and forearms.

Some patients diagnosed with AK are surprised, thinking, “I never go out in the sun!” But there can be a long delay, even decades, between sun exposure and AK developing.

veins AK photo

facial actinic keratosis

An AK is a rough, dry, scaly patch or grown that forms on the skin. These growths (lesions)  usually become red, but some will be tan, pink, and/or flesh-toned.  Untreated, up to ten percent of AKs develop into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer.  In more rare cases, AKs can turn into basal cell carcinomas, the most common form of skin cancer.

The most important thing for AK treatment is early,  preventive evaluation and  treatment.  In the early stages AK  can be treated  preventatively with  intensed pulsed light (IPL).     More advanced cased are treated with chemicals like efudex.  And if left untreated for a long period,  sometimes  surgical excision could be required if the lesion has advanced too far.   Early treatment and diagnoses by a qualified physician will help avoid the latter more drastic treatments.  And give the patient peace of mind that a pre-cancerous lesion is not developing.  The easiest solution is early assessment and IPL treatment.

This is a good time of year to have your skin checked to see if you are at risk. Do this before another season  of sun exposure is upon us.   Dr Fern at Vein & Skin Laser Center, a board certified surgeon, has been evaluating and treating cancer and skin for 30 years.  Call today if you want cosmetic or preventative treatment and evaluation.