Conditions Treated Header

Actinic Cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition that, if left untreated, may develop into a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the lip. Skin cancer in this area may be dangerous and spread to lymph nodes and may require extensive surgery. In order to stop the progression of the 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 may turn into a 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 the CDLC’s physicians demonstrated on a molecular level the reasons why this treatment is so effective. In order to be treated for actinic cheiltis in the CDLC, patients must have undergone a biopsy by their physician or dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis. The pathology report will be reviewed by the CDLC team during your initial consultation visit and a date for the laser procedure will be planned at that time.