What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Growths that have the potential to be cancerous should be treated properly to avoid the risk of skin cancer. Photodynamic therapy is effective in treating pre-skin cancer and other sun damage to keep your skin strong and healthy.

Photodynamic therapy uses a photosynthesizing drug and laser light to destroy potential cancer cells and skin growths. Once the photosynthesizing agent is administered, cells will begin absorbing and processing it. The agent remains in cancer cells longer, allowing them to be targeting while healthy cells are kept safe. A laser light can then be used to target these cells, producing an active oxygen that destroys them.

Photodynamic therapy is an option for patients who have been diagnosed with actinic keratoses or other pre-cancerous growth. It might also be used alongside another form of cancer treatment like chemotherapy or surgery. Your dermatologist can determine if photodynamic therapy is right for you based on the type of pre-cancer lesion you have and your medical history.

What to Expect During Treatment

To begin treatment, the photosynthesizing agent is administered to the surface of the target area. The time it takes for the agent to be effectively absorbed could be 30 minutes to 3 hours. After this time, the laser light will be directed at the area. Pulses of light beams will destroy the cancer cells while protecting healthy surrounding cells.

Results & Recovery

The skin in the treated area will be more sensitive to treatment so you should avoid sun exposure for the first few days. Redness and peeling might also occur. One treatment session might be enough to effectively treat the area, or your dermatologist might request a second session or combination of treatments.

To learn more about photodynamic therapy and find out if you might be a candidate, contact Seattle Skin & Laser today.