Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the use of a topical photosensitizer (20% solution of 5-aminolevulinic acid) and a light source to activate the photosensitizer. Once activated by light, the 5-aminolevulinic acid is transformed into protoporphyrin IX. Protoporphyrin IX is absorbed into sun damaged skin cells and sebaceous glands (oil glands of the face).
PDT can be used for the treatment of:
- Actinic keratoses
- Disseminated actinic porokeratosis
What to expect:
- The 5-aminolevulinic acid is applied to the treated area and allowed to incubate.
- After the incubation the light treatment will be applied.
- Once the treatment is completed, the area treated will be red and irritated.
- After treatment, it is critical to avoid sun exposure for 48 hours and apply a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.