Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a medical treatment that uses a source to activate photosensitizing molecules to treat such conditions as acne and superficial skin cancers including actinic keratosis.
Individuals who are healthy but have diseased or inflamed skin cells are candidates for photodynamic therapy. It should not be used by women who are pregnant or by anyone who has taken the drug Accutane during the past six months.
Photodynamic therapy consists of three steps, which begins with the application of a light-sensitizing cream. The second step of the process is incubation, which can take several hours. Finally, the damaged tissue will be exposed to a specific wavelength of light designed to activate the photosensitizing medication.
The procedure can be done either in a doctor’s office or in an outpatient setting. The doctors at U.S. Dermatology Partners can provide you with more information based on your individual needs.
It is common to have redness and scaliness, similar to having a sunburn, after the treatment. This may last for a day or more than a week, depending on the amount of treatment. It’s important to follow your doctor’s protocol for sun exposure before, during and after the treatment.
Annual maintenance treatments are generally required to maintain the protection, but individual maintenance requirements will vary with your specific condition.
*Results may vary by individual