Photodynamic Therapy

What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Photodynamic Therapy is a procedure using a photosensitizing drug with light therapy to target pre-cancerous skin lesions (Actinic Keratosis). This treatment is non invasive and lessens the need for other surgical treatments such as liquid nitrogen application, for treating areas with large amounts of these lesions. It is typically used for the face, arms and chest.

The treatment begins by applying a topical drug, Levulan, to the treatment area. The drug is allowed to ‘incubate’ for a time determined by the physician based on your condition. During this time the solution is absorbed by the AK cells and is converted to a chemical that makes these cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to the BLU-U light a reaction happens that destroys the AK cells.

PDT is very effective and is FDA approved for the treatment of actinic keratosis and requires a limited amount of downtime. Patients should avoid sun exposure to the treated areas for at least 40 hours Studies suggest this targeted treatment has better results in achieving complete lesion clearance as well as superior cosmetc results. The most appropriate treatment regimen will be determined by the physician.