Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a medically therapeutic treatment that also provides cosmetic enhancement benefits. It’s a noninvasive way to treat pre-cancerous lesions and skin cancer, as well as cosmetic concerns like acne and psoriasis. PDT works by combining the application of a topical medication with a specific wavelength of light. To find out if PDT might be right for you, you can schedule a consultation with our board-certified doctor at Perfection Plastic Surgery and Skin Care.
Reasons to Use Photodynamic Therapy
The primary medical use of photodynamic therapy is to prevent and treat skin cancer. Dr. Peter Kay may recommend it for patients who have actinic keratosis (AK). An AK is a rough, scaly patch of skin that forms as a result of accumulated sun damage. Some, but not all AKs may later become cancerous, which is why we typically recommend treating them. PDT can also be used to treat certain lesions that have already become cancerous.
In addition, you may elect to have PDT for the following cosmetic concerns:
- Enlarged pores
- Dull tone and rough texture
When you schedule a consult with Dr. Peter Kay at our clinic, you’ll discuss your skin conditions and cosmetic concerns. After reviewing your medical history and asking about your treatment preferences, Dr. Kay will determine if PDT is an appropriate choice for you.
Process for Photodynamic Therapy
After preparing your skin, Dr. Kay will apply the topical medication directly to the treatment area. The aminolevulinic acid (ALA) medication is photosensitizing, which means it’s activated by light. It will take a few hours for the medication to absorb into the skin.
After this incubation period, Dr. Kay will apply the medical-grade laser to the treatment area. This may take about 15 minutes. Our team will make sure you have all the post-treatment information you need before you leave, and you can always call the office with any questions or concerns.
Recovery from Photodynamic Therapy
PDT is noninvasive, and most patients find that they can resume their usual indoor activities right away. It’s normal to experience some temporary dryness and redness of the skin at the treatment area. It may feel and look like mild sunburn.
The most important thing to do after PDT is stay out of the sun. This treatment will make you very sensitive to sunlight, especially for the first few days. Even a little sun exposure can result in skin blistering. We strongly recommend staying indoors and keeping the drapes or blinds closed.
At Perfection Plastic Surgery and Skin Care, your health and safety are our top priorities. If you would like to schedule a consultation with our board-certified doctor for photodynamic therapy, please call our office in Tucson at (520) 323-7100.