Photodynamic therapy for skin cancer treatment

Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, can be an effective, safe and non-invasive option for treating some superficial skin cancers and sun-damaged skin. It can also help you achieve smoother, clearer and healthier skin!

What does photodynamic therapy treat?

PDT is an effective and safe skin cancer treatment for certain superficial and precancerous lesions as recommended by your doctor, that can further reduce your risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers in the treatment area for patients with a history of basal and squamous cell carcinomas. PDT also calms acne and rosacea.

  • Superficial skin cancersNSCC HubDB PDT Imagery (services)
  • Precancerous lesions
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Actinic keratoses (sun spots)
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Sun-aged skin
  • Acne
  • Rosacea

What is photodynamic therapy?

PDT is a skin treatment that combines a topical cream (called 5 ALA) and a light source (red LED lights). This combination destroys damaged skin cells, including cancerous, precancerous and sun-damaged cells, to reveal the healthier skin beneath.

How does photodynamic therapy work?

A topical cream called 5 ALA is applied to the treatment area and left to incubate while it is absorbed by sun-damaged skin cells. The cream is removed and the area is exposed to a red LED light source. The damaged skin cells affected by the cream are destroyed. This creates a peel reaction that sloughs off over the next week.

PDT provides excellent cosmetic results for those who have heavily sun-damaged or sun-aged skin. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of further development of non-melanoma skin cancers for those with a personal history of the disease.

Top 3 benefits

Non-surgical treatment without scarring
PDT is a non-surgical treatment achieving effective and safe results without scarring or long downtime typical with surgical options.
Clear, healthy skin
Since PDT specifically targets damaged skin cells, healthy cells are left intact to reveal bright, smooth and healthy skin in just a few days.
Treat acne, rosacea & sun damage
PDT is a versatile treatment for damaged skin, photodynamic therapy is ideal for acne, rosacea, ageing, and other skin conditions like general sun damage.

Is photodynamic therapy for me?

Your doctor will discuss all your available treatment options with you during your consultation, and will recommend the safest and most effective approach for your needs.

Learn more about photodynamic therapy here.

 

Written by National Skin Cancer Centres