Who benefits from PDT?
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a revolutionary new way to treat superficial skin cancers, actinic keratosis, sun damaged, blemished and aged skin on all areas of the body. By using PDT’s non-invasive light technology, doctors can now treat a range of skin conditions in a fast, relatively painless and affordable way with minimal side effects and downtime.
PDT can be used therapeutically to treat superficial skin cancers (known medically as superficial or nodular basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinoma in situ) and certain precancerous lesions (known medically as actinic keratosis). Metvix PDT is an alternative treatment to cryotherapy, skin cancer creams or surgery, all of which can potentially leave unsightly scars. PDT has no documented history of scarring and provides an excellent cosmetic result especially in cosmetically sensitive areas. Clinical studies have found that most patients who have had previous treatment for actinic keratosis with cryotherapy or skin cancer creams were more satisfied with PDT.
PDT also has many cosmetic benefits for your skin to help improve the overall health, look and feel of your skin. PDT provides exceptional cosmetic results for sun damaged and aged skin, rosacea, acne, large pores, fine lines, pigmentation and skin discolouration. PDT is also very effective in bringing new life to aged skin in areas that in the past have been hard to treat such as the décolletage, arms, hands and legs.
How does PDT work?
A naturally occurring lotion called metivx (m-ALA) is applied to the superficial skin cancer or actinic keratosis and a small surrounding area. When applied to the skin; m-ALA is absorbed into the abnormal or damaged cells. Once absorbed, a focused LED or laser light source is illuminated over the treated area for a period of time. When exposed to this light, the abnormal or cancerous skin cells are destroyed. This therapy is especially useful in cosmetically sensitive areas where scarring is a problem.
A naturally occurring lotion or cream called 5-ALA is applied to the affected area (eg face, arms, scalp etc). When applied to the skin, 5 ALA is absorbed into abnormal or damaged cells. Once absorbed, an LED, IPL or laser light source is focused on the treated area for a period of time. When exposed to light, the abnormal skin cells are destroyed to reveal new, fresh, healthy skin cells. Cosmetically, 5-ALA can be used to treat sun damaged and aged skin, acne, rosacea, and facial pigmentation.
Other things you should know
Before undergoing PDT make sure you tell your Doctor about any medications you are taking especially Roaccutane and/or Tetracyclines. If you have a history of cold sores (herpes simplex 1) you may need to take prophylactic treatment prior to your PDT treatment.