Photodynamic therapy (PDT) treats solar keratosis and sun-damaged skin before they become cancerous.
This non-invasive treatment reduces the risk of cancer forming in the future and – as an added bonus – rejuvenates damaged skin.
PDT is an early intervention treatment that targets some pre-cancerous skin lesions before they develop. Solar (actinic) keratosis is one of the most common lesions we see and is suitable for this treatment.
In a single session, lesions are treated with a combination of laser, topical aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and light therapy to activate a photochemical reaction that selectively destroys sun-damaged cells. This non-invasive approach reduces the risk of skin cancer forming in the future.
The combination of laser, ALA and the light therapy used in BBL is not just therapeutic – it also helps to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance.
How Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) works
PDT uses light therapy to activate photosensitising agents applied to sun-damaged skin. Once active, these photosensitising agents selectively destroy skin cells damaged from sun exposure.
PDT treatment is suitable for solar keratosis and sun-damaged skin. At your initial consultation, a diagnosis is made by our doctor to determine if the treatment is appropriate for you. A test patch is also performed to ensure any possible adverse reactions are minimised.
Treatment is performed in a single session in the following sequence:
Before and After
A skin check must be performed prior to treatment not only for diagnosis, but also to ensure other types of skin cancers are not present. Dr Guy Kinsella will assess your skin to diagnose whether this treatment is appropriate for you. Alternatively, a referral from your GP or specialist is required.
The majority of lesions can be treated in a single session, meaning only one treatment is typically required. Prior to your treatment, we will have a consultation with you to confirm your treatment plan.
Please be aware that yearly treatments may be required to maintain results (depending on your condition).
Treatment takes approximately 90 minutes, however please allow up to 2 hours in clinic.
Allow a week to 10 days for recovery. During this time, you can expect the treated skin to be red and sensitive for up to 7 days. After about 4 days, the skin will begin to peel. You may also experience swelling – particularly under eyes – for a few days.
It is essential to stay out of the sun following a PDT treatment and avoid environments that may be reflective, such as beaches. We also recommend a cool compress and soothing creams such as Bepanthen to aid in the recovery process.
There are no long-term side effects from this treatment, however you may experience some discomfort following your treatment for up to 7 days. Immediate side effects may include:
- Burning/stinging sensation
- Swelling and redness
- Peeling and blistering
Side effects are rare and are usually short lived.
Book your free consultation at our laser clinic
Your suitability for treatment is assessed by Dr Guy Kinsella at your initial consultation. This is a free consultation and the best way to learn more about this treatment.