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What Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Can Do For You

Posted on: November 24th, 2021 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a specialized treatment for pre-cancerous lesions. PDT uses a light-activated drug (or photosensitizing agent) to destroy pre-cancer cells without harming nearby tissues. The treatment triggers your body’s own immune system to strike the tumor cells not only in the treated area but other parts of the body. At Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center, we offer PDT to effectively treat pre-cancerous lesions.

Are Treated with PDT? 

In dermatology, Photodynamic therapy is an alternative option for actinic keratoses and pre-cancerous lesions because it limits the damage to surrounding healthy cells by targeting abnormal cells with the photosensitizer. However, PDT can’t address large tumors or cancerous tumors.

How Does Photodynamic Therapy Work? 

PDT is a two-step process, which begins with the photosensitizing drug applied topically This topical chemical is left on the skin for 1 to 2 hours. The patient is then placed under the PDT-Blue Light for approximately 16 minutes. The PDT light is used to activate the photosensitizer to chemically treat the pre-cancerous lesions. The photosensitizing agent used in the outpatient procedure is nontoxic until subjected to a specific wavelength of light and does not cause scarring.  

Benefits of PDT for Skin Cancer 

Photodynamic therapy is an effective treatment for pre-cancerous lesions that can push your immune system to fight the abnormal cells. PDT is typically an outpatient procedure so that you can return home following your treatment, and there are few long-term side effects. The targeted treatment leaves surrounding tissues and normal cells healthy while attacking the abnormal cells  PDT is a faster, less costly option than other pre-cancerous treatments.

Contact Our Dermatologists About PDT  

Our dermatologists at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center will determine if PDT is a good option for you during a thorough evaluation. Contact our La Mesa office to schedule your appointment today. 

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology