Patients suffering from conditions including certain types of skin cancer may benefit from photodynamic therapy. This treatment is less invasive than traditional surgeries and can have excellent results in restoring health. Poulsbo, Washington patients may receive photodynamic therapy at West Sound Dermatology.
What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment which combines the use of photosensitizing drugs with light energy to treat skin cancer or precancerous cells. In some cases, photodynamic therapy can be used to treat bacterial, fungal or viral skin infections.
The Photodynamic Therapy Procedure
Typically, photosensitizing drugs can be applied topically to the treatment area. The drug will then be absorbed by the cancerous or infected cells. Patients may be required to wait several days between the application of photosensitizing drugs and their photodynamic therapy procedure. During the procedure, a specialized light is directed to the area. This light causes a reaction in the medication which forms oxygen molecules that kill the unwanted cells. Lights used in photodynamic therapy may be a type of laser or an LED.
Following photodynamic therapy, the skin is likely to become red and swollen. In some cases, blisters may also form. Patients may experience burning or itching as the skin heals.
Photodynamic therapy causes sensitivity to bright lights and sunlight, so patients should avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible. Your provider will instruct you to stay indoors as much as possible and to wear protective clothing or hats when you are outdoors.