At Brisbane Skin, our goal is to protect our patients against the damaging effects of the sun. There are a wide range of treatments available to treat sun damage, sunspots and skin cancer. Here we guide you through these stages and highlight our non-surgical options which leave the least visual change to your skin. If you are interested in surgical options, please read about our surgical treatments here
3 Stages of Skin Cancer Treatment
In Australia, the number of skin cancers treated each year is greater than the total number of all other cancers combined. There are three stages in our lives where we have the opportunity to prevent and treat skin cancers.
At Brisbane Skin, our goal is to protect our patients against the damaging effects of the sun. There are a wide range of treatments available to treat sun damage, sunspots and skin cancer.
Treat it early, treat it easily
- Sun damage – In Australia, the amount of sun damage that occurs to our skin is higher and occurs earlier than anywhere else in the world. We need to be very aware of our skin and the changes that are occurring as we age. Prevention is the best cure which starts with sunscreen & hats, and is complimented with light laser treatments. We recommend an annual maintenance plan of annual Fraxel, quarterly Clear+Brilliant and Monthly Chemical Peels in order to treat the early signs of sun damage before sun spots have the chance to appear. This maintenance plan is $70 per week and is well worth the investment in your skin to treat sun damage and pigmentation, leaving your skin looking radiant and fresh! Read more about this maintenance package here
- Sun spots – Sun spots are often overlooked by all of us. They are small rough patches that some people mistake as breakouts, and can be itchy and scaly in appearance. When we ignore these or mistake them for something else, they are left untreated and turn into skin cancers. If you are having regular laser treatments already, you will likely have these sunspots removed as soon as they start to appear during the course of your treatment. If you notice the beginnings of sunspots, we recommend that you call to book a dermatologist or free nurse consult today, to discuss how laser options can remove these without the need of surgery. Read more about our lasers here or book a complimentary consult here to discuss your options.
- Skin Cancers – Once skin cancers appear, there are different options available to you. For early stage skin cancers, Erbium or CO2 lasers or Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) are both excellent non-surgical options. Some of the more traditional skin cancer treatments have been superseded by amazing developments in technology which can leave you without the scars, reactions and downtime that have been associated with freezing, prescription cream applications and surgery. Please come and discuss options with our dermatologists early, and talk about non surgical treatments.
Brisbane Skin Explains Photodynamic Therapy for Skin Cancers
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is emerging as a leading solution for superficial skin cancers and pre-cancerous solar keratoses. When compared with other surgical and non-surgical approaches, it is valued for its minimally invasive technique, minimal risk of scarring and pigment changes, and quick recovery. Our dermatologists also use PDT to treat UV-damaged skin for prevention of progression to more aggressive cancers because there is:
- High rate of effectiveness and cure
- Less potential for scarring
- Less down time and faster recovery than with surgery and other treatment options
Photodynamic Therapy is an outpatient treatment that we perform at Brisbane Skin. Here’s what happens during the two-part treatment:
- Metvix, a photosensitising chemical in cream form, is applied to the affected area and the surrounding skin in what is known as a “field treatment.” This chemical agent is activated by a specific light wavelength and intensity. After application, you will need to wait between one to three hours for it to be completely absorbed and incubation to occur.
- When the cream has been fully absorbed, you will be given protective goggles and then undergo a red light treatment for eight minutes. This activates the Metvix incubated malignant cells and begins destroying damaged skin and cancerous cells while relatively sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.
Photodynamic Therapy is effective on a wide range of areas on the body, including the face, hands, scalp, and chest. Beyond its value for treating skin cancers and precancerous changes, patients often also notice a significant improvement in the tone and texture of their skin and an aesthetic benefit.
What to Expect after Photodynamic Therapy
Generally speaking, patients at Brisbane Skin find PDT treatments easy to tolerate. Many do not require an anaesthetic of any kind, even though it is common to experience a slight burning or stinging sensation during the treatment.
During treatment, a spray of cooling air with our Zimmer Cooler can decrease discomfort or, if necessary, local anaesthetic can be used to alleviate any discomfort. For people with elevated pain sensitivity, taking an analgesic an hour or so before the treatment can serve to calm fears by providing a maximum level of comfort.
When your PDT treatment is complete, you might feel sunburned or even be a little swollen. An over-the-counter painkiller can help with the discomfort. The discomfort should diminish within a day or two, depending on the severity of your cancer and the extent of the treatment itself. Your skin will be red and peeling for about a week.
From start to finish, you will likely be at our offices for up to four hours. Our patients generally require five to seven days of downtime to recover from a full-face treatment. People who are having individual lesions treated can continue on with most activities within 24 hours.
It’s Beautiful to be Skin-Cancer-Free
The doctors at Brisbane Skin know that a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to hear. Adding to the challenge is the fear that any treatment you receive can cause scars or disfigurement.
Please stop worrying!
The dermatologists at Brisbane Skin never lose sight of the importance of aesthetic results when they are treating skin cancers. Your doctor is uniquely qualified to guide you through your non-surgical skin cancer treatment and help you achieve optimal results.
You can reach our clinic by phone during business hours on 07 3160 3330. If you prefer, you can use the contact form on this page to learn more about non-surgical skin cancer treatments at Brisbane Skin.