Photodynamic Therapy: FAQ

What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?

PDT is the use of light-activated drugs which produce singlet oxygen to treat diseased tissues. The drug undergoes a chemical reaction when light of a particular wavelength and intensity is applied, resulting in a therapeutic effect.

Is the PDT a laser?

No, the PDT is not a laser. Lasers deliver light as coherent beams, while PDT delivers incoherent light scattered over a larger area.

Who performs the PDT light therapy procedure?

A qualified healthcare provider is required to perform the procedure.

Is it recommended that the patient have appropriate eye protection?

Yes. Although exposure to the light from the PDT during a patient treatment is below the recommended maximum skin and eye exposure for blue and UV light, it is recommended that both the patient and clinician(s) wear blue-blocking eye protection while the PDT is in operation for comfort and to further minimize eye exposure.

Is it possible to stop the therapy midway through a session?

Yes, if a patient needs to remove himself from the unit, or asks for it to be turned off, he can do so at any time. Once the light treatment is stopped, it is not to be resumed during the session.

How does Photodynamic Therapy work?

Photodynamic Therapy adds a photosensitive drug to light treatment for pre-cancerous lesions, blotchiness, and enlarged pores. After the drug is applied to the skin, a light or laser is used to activate it.  Once activated, the drug attacks abnormal cells, including pre-cancerous cells and sun-damaged skin cells. The result is improved skin tone, smoother skin texture, and reduced appearance of pores.

What does Photodynamic Therapy Treat?

Photodynamic Therapy was first used by dermasurgeons for actinic keratoses and actinic cheilitis (chronically chapped lips) — two pre-cancerous skin conditions associated with chronic exposure to sunlight.  Photodynamic therapy works best for improving any type of sun-damaged skin and can also be used to treat such oily skin conditions as inflammatory acne and rosacea.

Is there a customized Photodynamic Therapy?

One of the benefits of photodynamic therapy is that it allows for more precise targeting of your individual skin issues. Various laser and light sources can be used to activate the solution, including pulsed dye lasers, light-emitting diodes, and intense pulsed light platforms. We will select the laser or light source that is best suited to your condition, skin type, and treatment area. Because the treatment attacks several types of abnormal conditions, it can rejuvenate skin while treating acne and pre-cancers.

Can I get enhanced eesults from Photodynamic Therapy

Patients are often thrilled with the clinical ‘boost’ they receive by adding photodynamic therapy to their non-ablative laser or light treatment because of its enhanced clinical results and minimal side effects. Using photodynamic therapy as an adjunct to laser/light therapy often achieves better results with fewer treatment sessions.

What should I expect after my Photodynamic Therapy

After treatment, while the PDT drug is still active, it is imperative that patients avoid sun exposure for at least 36 hours. Mild skin redness and peeling can be expected for one or two days following treatment, but patients can typically go about their daily activities.

If you would like to see the best possible results from your laser or light treatments, schedule a photodynamic therapy consultation Retief Skin Center

BrianPhotodynamic Therapy: FAQ