Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a combination treatment of light and a topical medication which together can help to treat a variety of skin diseases including actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous lesions), acne, photoaging, enlarged pores, and some skin cancers. Photodynamic therapy specifically treats the problem skin while leaving normal skin unaffected. Multiple lesions are simultaneously treated at each session and treatment may also prevent the development of new lesions.
In the first step, a topical medication is applied to the skin and is taken up by the targeted cells. The skin is then given time to absorb the medication and turn it into an active light sensitive form. Laser or light source exposure activates the light sensitive compound to decrease the number of targeted cells, such as cancerous, precancerous cells, oil glands or acne causing bacteria. Photodynamic treatments are safe, effective and well tolerated by most patients, but typically care must be taken to avoid exposure to sunlight for 48 hours following the treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the process of the treatment?
Once the incubation time passes, the provider will then have you sit under a blue light for a short period of time. Under the specific light, the photosensitizing agent reacts with light, which in turn, reacts with oxygen to selectively destroys precancerous cells.
Is there any pain during the treatment?
What will I look like after the treatment?
What is the typical healing time and expectations after treatment?
Days 1-2: You will be extremely sensitive to sunlight; patients are advised to avoid direct sunlight as it can cause pain and tenderness and stay indoors.
Day 3-4: The skin may scab, peel, and still remain red. This is a normal response as the abnormal cells are being destroyed.
Day 5-7: Some redness may be remaining, but healing continues and skin begins to clearer and smoother. Continue with gentle skincare.
Some patients may require more than a week of healing time with the redness and swelling, but resolves within the coming weeks.
Will I have any downtime?
What are some benefits of the treatment?
- Treatment is done in our office
- FDA approved. Treatments can be repeated if necessary without adverse long term effects. Scarring has not been reported in clinical trials.
- Covered by most insurances.
- Don’t have to apply a daily medication