What is photodynamic therapy (PDT)?
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a specific dermatological treatment. It is used to treat patients with tumor and pre-tumor skin diseases, as well as in viral and inflammatory skin diseases.
What diseases are treated with photodynamic therapy?
Photodynamic therapy is used to treat the surface pre-tumor diseases and surface forms of skin cancer: actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma (basalioma) and Boveno disease.
Also, it’s a way to effectively treat various skin diseases:
- rose acne,
- viral warts,
- red lichen,
- psoriasis, ordinary acne,
- localized scleroderma,
- granulomas and other skin diseases.
What is the principle of this treatment?
Some photosensitive material is applied on the damaged skin or the skin formation, this material accumulates in tumor or inflammatory cells. Then it is illuminated by light of a certain beam length (the red light spectrum), then the so-called “photodynamic reaction” leads to the tumor or inflammatory cell death. Healthy surrounding skin cells remain intact.
How is this procedure carried out?
A specific medication (which makes the tumor sensitive to light therapy) is applied to a tumor or an inflammatory lesion and covered with a light-tight bandage before the procedure. After 3-6 hours. this area is illuminated by a special lamp for 10-15 minutes.
What are the side-effects of PDT?
Normally, photodynamic therapy is well tolerated. During the procedure, the patient may feel stronger burning or itching, but it completely disappears after the lighting. Special medication to decrease these sensations may be prescribed before the procedure.
How does the skin look after the procedure?
After the treatment, the skin in the lesions area is red, slightly swollen, and subsequently a scab forms. After 2-3 weeks, the skin heals completely without scarring.
What are the benefits of this treatment compared with surgical treatment?
Photodynamic treatment method is as effective as surgery, but much better results are obtained from the cosmetic point of view, the skin heals faster and there is no scar after treatment with photodynamic therapy. Also, this method is especially suitable for the treatment of extended forms of cancer, when surgery and radical tumor removal can’t be applied because of the tumors size.
What is the photodynamic therapy treatment efficiency?
80-90% of patients fully recover after the 1st procedure. In some cases, when full effect has not been achieved, the procedure is repeated after two weeks.