What is Photodynamic Therapy?
People in Phoenix, AZ are becoming more and more aware of the importance of keeping healthy and we at Stockton Dermatology have explored the different technological advancements that can help us improve our patient’s way of life by providing effective solutions to their skin care needs. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. With that principle in mind, we advocate early detection and treatment of skin cancer and try to assist our patients at nipping this problem in the bud.
One of the most effective treatment that helps us battle skin cancer at its early stages is photodynamic therapy (PDT). This is a medical treatment that involves the use of a photosensitizing drug and a light source that triggers the active ingredients of the drug. The process results to the activation of oxygen molecules that destroys the cells in the surrounding area. It has been found that this has been very effective in eliminating superficial skin cancers called actinic keratosis as well as other types of cancer cells and skin conditions.
What can Photodynamic Therapy treat?
Doctors at Stockton Dermatology always encourage our patients at Phoenix, AZ to be on the constant look out for any skin changes so that measures can be taken for their early treatment. The use of photodynamic therapy with Levulan Kerastick photosensitizer has been proven effective in the treatment of actinic keratosis in their early stages. Photodynamic therapy is also recommended to treat rosacea skin cancer, acne, sun damage, oily skin, cosmetic skin improvements, enlarged sebaceous glands, skin rejuvenation, wrinkles, warts, and psoriasis.
What is a Photodynamic Therapy procedure like?
As with any procedure that we offer here at Stockton Dematology, initial assessment and consultation must first be conducted to determine if the patient is physically fit to receive photodynamic therapy and to be able to address any questions, concerns, or apprehensions that our patients may have regarding the procedure. After our team has established that PDT is your best option, pre-treatment photos will be taken before the application of the photosensitizer medication to be able to measure the effectiveness of the treatment.
After this is done, the area will be cleaned thoroughly using alcohol or acetone to remove any excess oil in the skin. It is important that excess oil is taken off to ensure the absorption of the topical medication. The photosensitizer cream is then applied to the area that will be treated and will be left to dry for a few minutes, usually between 30-60 minutes depending on the patient’s type of skin and the location.
Once proper incubation time has been reached, the patient will be brought to the light source room where the medication will be activated by the light source that is set at a specific wavelength. Patients may feel a sensation of warmth and tingling during this phase. Once completed, the medication is washed off and patients will be provided instructions for proper post treatment care.