What is Photodynamic Therapy?

 In Health

Have you noticed a skin spot or growth that’s a bit concerning lately? Then it’s the ideal time to visit the Claris Group skin care centre. We can thoroughly assess your skin and work out the best kind of therapy to remove unhealthy lesions. Sooner is better than later in most cases because this provides you with more treatment options.

Photodynamic therapy may be the right solution if your skin is showing pre-cancerous skin lesions (also known as actinic keratosis AK). This therapy is a two-pronged approach, with a topical skin medication combined with photodynamic therapy (PDT).

First developed in 1905, photodynamic therapy has been used for a long time to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions. More recently, the treatment has become popular for skin conditions such as rosacea, skin wrinkles, sun damage and age spots.

Photodynamic skin therapy in a nutshell

The procedure involves the application of a photosensitising cream. This is applied and then 1-3 hours later, the area is exposed to a light source. The light activates the photosensitising agent and removes the damaged or pre-cancerous growth from the skin.

When the photosensitive cream is activated by the light, it causes a chemical reaction, which alters the DNA of the targeted skin cells and destroys them. Afterwards, there will be some side-effects as the skin in the area sheds the dead skin. The procedure is safe and non-invasive.

The benefits of photodynamic skin therapy

  • The treatment has the added bonus of improving skin complexion and promoting the growth of new skin cells in this area of your skin.
  • It also works with sun-damaged skin and age spots to revitalise specific areas of the skin on the face. This can be a great preventative treatment for mitigating the risk of skin cancers in these areas.
  • The therapy is known to be safe and non-invasive. Unlike other therapies you can get straight back to normal activities after the treatment.

What to expect after the procedure

There are some possible side effects to expect following the procedure, such as mild to moderate stinging and burning in the area, along with mild to moderate swelling and redness. These side-effects are considered normal and they should subside after 48 hours. Also, you can expect some peeling and flaking of the skin in the localised area. This is the unhealthy skin in the area being destroyed and is to be expected. The peeling should subside after 7 days, although the symptoms will vary between individuals and some people will heal quicker than others.

Afterwards, skin care experts at the Claris Group will re-examine your skin to ensure that all of the unhealthy skin has been destroyed. In some cases, further treatments may be needed.

With so many treatments out there for skin lesions and skin cancers, the options may bamboozle you. However, don’t worry! Help is at hand with Claris Group’s skin doctors. They will thoroughly assess your skin and recommend a treatment program especially tailored to you.

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