Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a type of light therapy that has a number of uses. For cosmetic purposes, PDT is effective in reducing sun damage to the skin and improving overall skin tone. The therapy is also seeing increased popularity as an alternative to chemotherapy or cryotherapy (freezing) in the removal of precancerous lesions. These precancerous scaly, rough spots on the skin are known as actinic keratosis. If you suffer from these lesions, it is important to know the successful and innovative ways in which doctors are treating actinic keratosis with photodynamic therapy.
More About Photodynamic Therapy
In photodynamic therapy, a special type of visible light source is used to produce a reaction that acts to affect the precancerous cells. Sebaceous, or oil, glands that have been enlarged and damaged by the sun are also returned to their normal functioning. PDT has been shown to be more effective than traditional therapies, and it is particularly beneficial in treating large areas.
How It Works
The skin of the affected area will be cleaned prior to your procedure. A topical medication will then be applied to the area, where it will need to remain for up to an hour. You’ll receive eye protection and will be able to sit or lie in a comfortable position while a special light is directed on your skin for approximately 15 minutes.
A protective sunscreen may also be applied. Patients often describe the feeling during the procedure as tingling or warming. A coolant is usually applied to sooth your skin and provide relief.
Possible Side Effects
Visible side effects are extremely rare. In fact, patients often choose PDT over chemotherapy in order to avoid such unsightly reactions. There is also very little need for much downtime with photodynamic therapy. It is, however, essential that you avoid the sun for the few days after undergoing treatment and that you wear a protective sunscreen.
Learn More Today
After just one or two PDT treatments, your skin lesion should be gone. Treating actinic keratosis with photodynamic therapy is convenient, effective and approved as safe by the FDA.
To see if this is the best option for your needs, schedule a consultation at Rao Dermatology, with offices in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Fresno and Hanford. We can assess your actinic keratosis and determine if this innovative treatment is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at one of our convenient locations.