Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) services offered in Lansdale, PA

Actinic keratoses, are considered precancerous lesions, which can evolve into squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer. There are many treatments available for this condition, including cryotherapy, and topical chemotherapy, which can be prescribed for home use. In Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Allan Mineroff, MD, Kristen Foering, MD, MTR, and Erin Santa, MD, FAAD, also use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat precancerous lesions by activating a medication with blue light. Learn more about photodynamic therapy and find out if it’s right for you by scheduling an appointment over the phone or online today.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Q & A

What is photodynamic therapy (PDT)?

Photodynamic therapy is an advanced dermatological procedure that uses a combination of topical medication and blue light to treat certain skin lesions.

This procedure offers the ability to treat multiple actinic keratoses over larger areas such as the scalp, face, forearms, and hands. Blue light is a particular light wavelength that can activate a medication called aminolevulinic acid.

PDT is a two-stage process. First, a topical solution is applied to your skin lesions. This solution is light-sensitive. Then, after a prescribed amount of time, the areas to be treated will be placed under a light of a specific wavelength.

This involves a lamp being shone on the treatment area for about 16 minutesThe light causes the drug to react and form a special kind of molecule that kills precancer or cancer cells.

The process of photodynamic therapy may also trigger your body’s natural immune response, causing your immune system to eliminate dead or diseased tissue on its own. 

What does photodynamic therapy treat?

The team at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, uses photodynamic therapy to treat precancerous lesions called actinic keratoses. These lesions are not cancerous but have the potential to develop into skin cancer later on.

Lesions come from sun damage, which happens due to long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light from an artificial source like a tanning bed can damage your skin just as severely as the sun itself. 

Typically, actinic keratoses are rough on the surface and can develop scales across the top. They tend to appear mostly in sun-exposed areas such as your scalp, neck, face, ears, or the backs of your hands. If you notice an unusual lesion, you should schedule a skin exam at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, with a possible biopsy to check the lesion for cancerous cells. 

Does photodynamic therapy cause side effects?

Photodynamic therapy is a highly effective treatment for precancerous lesions and may have a few other benefits like improving acne, large oil glands, and sun spots. If you’re interested in PDT, the team at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, can tell you exactly what to expect. 

After the procedure, you might notice a few side effects. They’re common, temporary, and usually mild. Possible side effects include:

  • Crusting
  • Peeling
  • Increased light sensitivity of the skin
  • Light scarring
  • A moderate or severe inflammatory response

Permanent scarring is exceedingly rare from PDT, especially when you get treatment from a dermatologist. You can expect the skin to heal within 5-14 days after your procedure. 

Schedule your appointment over the phone or online at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, for more information about photodynamic therapy today.