HOUSTON—Millions of sun worshipers end up paying a high price for sunbathing, but now there's a new way to heal the sun damage, before it's too late.
Dermatologist, Dr. Paul Friedman with DermSurgery Laser Center in Houston is using a topical chemotherapy that works "before" cancer takes hold.
Houston patient, Lori Leverton says she grew up laying out by the pool or even on top of her sorority house without sunscreen. But she says she's now "facing the music", because she has suffered from skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) seven times.
She doesn't want to undergo invasive surgery again to remove any more skin cancer lesions, so she underwent a preventative measure with a solution, called Levulon, to her face and arms.
Dr. Friedman says, "About 60 percent of people over 40 have a condition called actinic keratosis. It's caused by cumulative sun exposure and presents as scaly, red, to skin-colored lesions".
He goes on to explain that the topical chemo drug absorbs into the sun damage. The solution sits on the skin for about an hour, then the patient sits under blue light for less than 20-minutes. Dr. Friedman says the treatment is extremely sensitive to the blue light, so it causes a reaction and kills the pre-cancerous cells.
Lori says the treatment just feels tingly. She first underwent the procedure on her face and says it felt similar to an intense sunburn for several days. She says she got similar results on her arms and is thrilled with the results.
Lori also likes the secondary results... It usually diminishes fine lines and even helps disguise acne scars.
Lori had to keep the lights turned down low for two days at home after her treatment, so that it wouldn't further activate the topical chemotherapy. She was also warned to stay completely out of the sun for 48-hours, but she's doing that more now, anyway. She says she slaps on lots of sunscreen and doesn't get in the sun as much as she used to.
After one procedure, Dr. Friedman says this treatment is 70 percent effective and 90 percent successful after two treatments. Most health insurance companies will cover the procedure for the face and neck, but not other body parts.
For more information about the treatment, you can go to: http://www.friedmanmd.net.
Dr. Friedman also wrote a book to separate help from hype about skin conditions. You can check that out at: http://www.friedmanmd.net/beautiful-skin-revealed.html.