Study shows cream fights off pre-cancerous skin condition
cream can help fight off the pre-cancerous skin condition known as
actinic keratosis, providing hope to many individuals suffering
from sun damaged skin, reports Simon Pitman.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 10 million Americans are said to suffer from the condition, which leads to red scaly patches on the skin. The condition is often a precursor to squamous cell carninoma, the second leading cause of death from skin cancer in the United States, and a condition that is known to be brought on by over exposure to the sun.
A prescription treatment, Aldara cream is said to deliver long-term benefits for the successful treatment of Actinic Keratosis, providing hope to those who have already inflicted what is often believed to be irreversible damage to their skin.
According to manufacturer 3M Healthcare, the study results confirm Aldara cream is effective in lowering the chance of AK from reappearing in the previously treated area. In the study, a majority of patients (nearly 75 per cent) treated with Aldara cream three times a week, and nearly 60 percent treated two times per week, remained completely clear of AK for 12 to 18 months after initial treatment.
These results are said to be significant for patients because AK treatment and management is a lifelong process, due to the extensive sun damage that accumulates over a years of exposure. Because Aldara cream reduces the number and frequency of new or recurrent AK, the company says that it may lead to a decreased number of physician visits and treatments needed for the condition.
"These results validate the importance of treating AK with the future in mind. We know that those who have had AK lesions have a much higher chance of developing other ones, and Aldara cream gives AK patients a treatment option with long-term benefits," said Dr. Peter K. Lee, Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota.
Although most Americans are now aware of the harmful effects of sun exposure, a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive indicates that they still lack awareness of AK. The survey found that only one in five people had heard of AK (or actinic keratosis), and of those who had heard of the condition, many (61 per cent) were not familiar with its characteristics.
Aldara cream was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration early last year as a topical prescription for treatment of certain types (clinically typical, nonhyperkeratotic, nonhypertrophic) of AK on the face or scalp. It is also approved for treatment five times a week of biopsy-confirmed, primary superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC), a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
The first immune response modifier approved for AK, Aldara cream is said to work with the body to stimulate the skin's immune response to reveal and clear visible and previously undetectable AK lesions.