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Actinic Cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis (AC) is a precancerous condition affecting the lip that may develop into a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the lip if left untreated. Skin cancer in this area may be dangerous and spread to lymph nodes and may require extensive surgery. 

Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center Treatment Methods

In order to stop the progression of actinic cheilitis into a true skin cancer, we treat patients with our carbon dioxide laser to literally vaporize the precancerous tissue, cleanly removing it before it has a chance to turn into skin cancer. The procedure is performed following a couple of injections to numb the lip and it takes only a few minutes. While not generally painful, the healing process involves frequent applications of Vaseline® or Aquaphor® Healing Ointment and may take about three weeks. Research performed by our Cosmetic Dermatology & Laser Center (CDLC) physicians has demonstrated on a molecular level the reasons why this treatment is so effective. 

To be treated for actinic cheilitis, patients must have undergone a biopsy by their primary physician or dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis. The pathology report will be reviewed by our team during your initial consultation visit and a date for the laser procedure will be planned at that time.

Make an Appointment

Ready to make a change? Call 734-936-4054 to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists.