Treatment for Sun Damaged skin, Pre-cancerous lesions, Skin Cancer and Acne.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) involves the application of a photosensitising agent (cream or lotion) for approximately 1-3 hours, followed by exposure to a light source, which then activates the photosensitising agent and destroys the biological targets (sun damage/pre-cancerous lesions, skin cancer, acne). The photosensitising agent is selectively absorbed into the abnormal skin cells only. When this is activated by the light, it causes a chemical reaction altering the DNA in the abnormal cells and destroying them.
PDT reduces the need for surgical excisions of lesions. It improves skin complexion and cure of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions. Usually 2-3 treatments are needed to achieve adequate results. Patients are required to have regular visits to a skin doctor after treatment, so any residual sun damage can be treated. In some cases further treatment with Liquid Nitrogen or anti-cancer creams is required after PDT.
Your Doctor will determine if this is the most appropriate treatment for your condition. The Registered Nurse/Therapist will discuss the treatment, procedure, consent, aftercare instructions, and take photographs. A biopsy may be required for insurance coverage. The biopsy cost is $150 and is usually covered by your health insurer.
Possible Side Effects
- Mild to moderate stinging, and/or burning sensation at the time of treatment.
- Mild to sever swelling and redness. The sensation is similar to that of bad sunburn. The first 24-48 hours are the worst.
- Mild to moderate flaking/peeling of the skin. This usually subsides in 5-7 days.
- Formation of pustules.
- Reactions vary between individuals; however expect 1-2 weeks of healing time.
- Avoid direct sunlight, extremes of temperature and wind for the first 24-48 hours.
- Apply cool packs/ice to the treated area if needed for pain relief.
- Apply the supplied Paraffin to keep the area moist. Eumovate cream may be prescribed to mix with the Paraffin. Apply day and night.
- You may be given a prescription for an anti-viral drug and /or sleeping tablets if required.
- Regular Paracetamol can be taken if required for pain relief. Contact the clinic if you feel your level of pain is not acceptable or managed with Paracetamol.
- Please contact the clinic with any concerns or questions.
- The nurse will phone you 1-2 days after treatment and a follow up appointment will be booked for 1 week after treatment. The 2nd PDT treatment is done 1-4 weeks later. A follow up consultation with the Doctor is booked for 1 month after the 2nd PDT treatment.