Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Experience

Question:For what condition did you have photodynamic therapy?

Comment from: NJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I"ve undergone 3 photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatments for actinic keratosis/sun damage on my face. All were very painful and this last time I was nauseous afterwards. My concern is the dermatologists don"t explain or prepare patients well enough before the procedure. My bigger concern is that no pain medications are offered to counteract sitting there for that long with intense pain. You would think in this day and age all dermatologists would prescribe a "before" pill or some numbing agent along with the acid. I don"t know if I can endure any more - I understand the reason but the pain level is horrible. I had a 2 hour drive home and the first time was totally unprepared and suffered terribly. The next two times I was prepared with ibuprofen, cold packs, etc. to endure the drive home.

Comment from: Sammy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had the PDT (photodynamic therapy) treatment four days ago for rosacea. It is a little claustrophobic sitting while the light box is on. I felt small 'tingling' sensations on my face during the procedure. Afterwards, I applied jojoba oil on my face several times a day and took ibuprofen as well as stayed inside. I did have some swelling the first two mornings and some redness. Day five now, I look normal with the exception of my skin looking dry. I believe this is due to the fact that it has not peeled yet (I was very diligent about the jojoba oil!). Overall, on a scale of 10 the pain was only about a 3 for me. I do look forward to seeing what the results will be to my rosacea and damaged skin cells.

Comment from: Red One, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

I had photodynamic therapy treatment done yesterday and was apprehensive going in after reading the testimonials on this site. It wasn't that bad! I took three ibuprofen prior to the actually light treatment. As the nurse prepared me, the first three minutes are the worse and it was about a 3 on a scale of 10. Little pin pricks, tingling ... really no big deal. I was expecting the light to be hot, like in a tanning bed but it wasn't at all. I didn't even use a fan. Once I was home. I applied ice packs for a few minutes every hour for the first few hours. By evening, my face was bright red ... looked like a terrible sunburn, but it did not hurt at all. Today, 24 hours after the treatment, my face is still very red, but really not painful or tight like sunburn would be. I have kept my entire face covered with a thin layer of Aquaphor, as my doctor directed me to do. I slept propped up last night and continue to take Advil to minimize any swelling. My sister had a terrible experience with this treatment last year, so I was prepared for the worse. So far, so good. I'm staying indoors for the 48 hours after treatment as advised by my doctor. Anxious to see the results after the skin peels. I have rosacea and have had multiple basil cell skin cancers in the past.

Comment from: steve, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 13

I had a full facial photodynamic therapy treatment yesterday. I will have to say the doctor did not fully prepare me for what I would experience. Said it would feel like bee stings all over your face. I was actually feeling like someone was tearing the skin off your face. About five minutes under the light I thought about crying out for help. Eight minutes in the nurse came back in to check and by then face was throbbing and she called the doctor in. He said he had the treatment and staying with full 16 minutes would be a matter of will power and longer I stayed the better the results. Stayed the full 16 minutes. Today, face feels like severe sunburn. Hope the gain will be worth the pain. Dread going back if second treatment is necessary!

Comment from: Blue light repeater, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I have had the blue light treatment a few times. This last time, four days ago, was the mildest response – which was expected since I have done it before. However, I did almost faint this time and had to stop 15 seconds before the time was up. This near-fainting response happened the first time as well, so I suggest you make sure the nurse stays nearby. After the first time I did this treatment, I decided to try a small amount of Xanax because I find the claustrophobic experience and the pain to be almost intolerable. “Almost” is the operative word, because if you can hang in there for the treatment, the results are great: for both the removal of actinic keratosis (AKs) and the look of your skin. The most painful post-procedure response I had was when the blue light was paired with laser to increase the effect. I could barely open my eyes the next morning due to the swelling. Ice packs, a dark room, and a loving family are helpful too. Emollient lotion and a small amount of cortisone cream also help the swelling, itching and tight feeling of the skin after it has been burned. Definitely don't plan on doing much for the 48 hours following the face procedure.

Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I'm getting this treatment for the precancers on my face.


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Photodynamic Therapy - Skin Question: For what condition(s) did you seek photodynamic therapy?

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