Photodynamic Therapy - PDT

Photodynamic Therapy - PDT What is photodynamic therapy?

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is an innovative treatment that can be used instead of surgery to treat the following conditions: 
  • Superficial basal cell carcinoma
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Bowen's disease 

What happens during the procedure?

Photodynamic Therapy - PDT involves the use of a light-sensitising cream which is applied to the affected area of skin for approximately 3 hours. The cream is absorbed selectively by diseased cells and results in the accumulation of photoactive porphyrins (PAP) in these cells. Red light emitting diodes are then shone onto the treated area for 8-15 minutes to active the cream. This selectively destroys dyslectic and cancerous cells. 

In many cases a single treatment is sufficient; however for some skin cancers two treatments, a week apart, are required.

What are the benefits of PDT?

Benefits of photodynamic treatment: 

  • Well established efficacy and safety record
  • Excellent cosmetic outcome
  • Limited side effects
  • Day case procedure
  • Local anaesthesia rarely required 

Source: Dr Sanjay Rajpara, Consultant Dermatologist at Albyn Hospital

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