Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

What PDT treatS

How does the procedure work?

Photodynamic therapy is an effective treatment for sun damage, superficial skin cancers and acne. It involves ‘staining’ these structures with a natural photosensitising agent (usually a type of chemical called a porphyrin) which becomes toxic to the cells when exposed to light or laser.  Pure coloured (blue, yellow, green or red) light, laser or even daylight then safely and accurately penetrates the skin to specifically destroy the targeted tissue, leaving the surrounding areas unharmed. 

What will the patient experience during the procedure? 

The treatment consists of applying the photosensitising agent (porphyrin) to the area. After an appropriate time, which may vary from minutes to hours, the pre-treated area is exposed to either pure coloured light, laser or  daylight for a length of time dependent on the light source and the lesions being treated. At the end of the treatment the patient is required to stay in the clinic and apply ice for a minimum of 15 minutes.

What can the patient expect after the procedure? 

Swelling is common especially on the upper cheeks, forehead and nose but usually subsides within a few days. A slight stinging and/or burning sensation may be experienced and if brown spots are treated, the area loses colour temporarily, returning to normal over a period of two to four weeks. Dryness and flakiness may also be experienced as the area heals.


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