I am interested in Photodynamic therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a procedure that allows for various skin conditions to be diagnosed and treated. The method has proven particularly effective in our practice in the past in treating areas of actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous). In some cases, this treatment can also be used for superficial basaliomas and Morbus Bowen (white skin cancer).
What are the benefits of PDT?
A common method for treating diagnosed skin cancer is surgical removal. This usually requires longer healing times and involves typical risks for surgical procedures, such as wound healing disorders and poor scarring.
Photodynamic therapy, however, is a non-invasive method that does not involve incisions, leaves no scars and therefore offers fantastic cosmetic results. Furthermore, a large area can also be treated, which would not be possible in this form for a smaller surgical procedure, for example the entire scalp. Even early diagnoses of the smallest skin changes can be detected with this procedure.
What happens during treatment?
Conventional PDT with red light:
First, a light-sensitising cream is applied to be area to be treated and covered with an opaque bandage. If the findings are pronounced, fractionated laser therapy or microneedling is performed. After around 3 hours, we remove the bandage and any residual cream, then expose the area to light with the red light lamp for 10-20 minutes. Any slight pain that occurs can be alleviated with painkillers and cooling. A local anaesthetic is rarely required. Treatment is performed twice 7-14 days apart.
Natural daylight photodynamic therapy
As an alternative to red light therapy, patients can undergo daylight treatment. On the day of treatment, the patients apply sun protection of at least SPF 30. At our practice, we perform one treatment in which nodular areas or scabs are removed (using a curette) and an aminolevulinic acid cream is applied using microneedling or fractionated laser therapy. After, you should be exposed to daylight for around 2 hours. Even in the winter months or poor weather, we can offer this form of treatment thanks to a special daylight lamp.
The changed cells are rejected a few days after treatment.
Who is suitable for photodynamic therapy?
Particularly superficial actinic keratosis, so-called field cancerization.
But also: Since this method is non-invasive, it is chosen particularly by patients who are looking for an alternative to surgery. This is possible as long as the skin cancer to be removed is still in its early stages or is very superficial. In these cases, the diseased skin can be completely killed off without causing scarring. The gentle treatment does not require an overnight stay and is the preferred method of choice.
If the tumour is advanced and in the deeper layers of skin, only a surgical procedure offers an effective solution.
Detailed information about the process and the correct aftercare can be found in our information leaflet as well as during a personal consultation with one of our dermatologists at the Hautmedizin Bad Soden.