Photodynamic (PDT) therapy for actinic keratosisThe word "photo" translates to light. “Dynamic” indicates action. Photodynamic therapy puts the two together, using specific wavelengths of light energy to combat disruption in healthy skin cells.
What to expect during photodynamic therapyTo begin treatment, we cleanse the skin to create an oil-free surface. Topical medication (Levulan) is applied, and is given 60-120 minutes to be absorbed into the skin surface. This medication causes greater sensitivity to the light. Patients recline slightly while blue light is directed towards the treatment area. Most patients experience a slight stinging sensation during the procedure but it is usually well tolerated.
After your treatmentPhotodynamic therapy may cause minimal swelling and redness for a few days. The skin may also feel somewhat tingly for a short time. During the first week following treatment, sun damaged areas may appear red and scaly. It is crucial to avoid UV exposure during the first 48 hours after photodynamic therapy. We suggest wearing titanium and zinc oxide sunscreen on a daily basis, even if it is cloudy. A hat may also be worn outside to ensure direct exposure to sunlight is reduced as much as possible.
To achieve the desired result, we may recommend a few PDT sessions. Research suggests that one to two treatments lead to improvement in 90 percent of patients. Additionally, this improvement can last several years when complimented by regular sunscreen use and healthy skin care habits.
Photodynamic therapy can clear the skin of visible actinic keratoses, as well as those that cannot yet be seen. To schedule your consultation for skin cancer education and treatment, call Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic at (619) 462-1670. We are conveniently located on Center Drive in Le Mesa, CA.
Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center
Grossmont Dermatology is committed to providing patients with excellent quality skin treatments to help them preserve their youth. They use the latest technologies and treatment modalities to provide patients with the most effective services suiting their individual needs. The team of professionals at the practice comprise:
- Christopher Crosby, MD, PhD, FAAD - Specialist in Mohs surgery and reconstructive dermatologic surgery for skin cancers.
- Paul B. Dean, MD, MPH, FAAD – Specializes in general dermatology, mole and lesion removal, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and skin cancer treatments.
- Maki Christine Goskowicz, MD, FAAD – Expertise includes general and laser dermatology, and skin cancer and melanoma treatments.
- Shinko Lin, MD – Specializes in general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, skin cancer treatments, and PDT.
- Helene Jolly, PA-C, MPAP – Performs cosmetic dermatology, acne and skin rash treatments, and mole removal among other tasks.