Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Experience

Please describe your experience with photodynamic therapy.

Comment from: jasto, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

For me, the most difficult part of the photodynamic therapy experience was the 90 minutes of waiting after the gel was applied to my face. However, I brought a book and read at leisure for the first time in years, so I enjoyed that. I was expecting the worst from some pain descriptions here. Therefore, I planned to use deep breathing and guided imagery to calm myself. I guess it worked really well, because I could not say there was anything like pain during the 16 minutes under the lights. The sensation I experienced around my lips reminded me of biting into a fruit that is irritating. My face has gotten very red, 60 hours post procedure. I stayed indoors the first day as instructed, although the car ride home freaked me out because it was very sunny out! I walked outside the next evening, slathered in sunscreen (as usual). I walked again today. Tonight, my skin has gotten so tight it hurts to yawn and smile. Lotions sting, but coconut oil feels great. In the last few hours, peeling has started.

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Comment from: bruce, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

I had the photodynamic therapy (PDT) 48 hours ago. Not sure whether it's doing anything. I spent 27 minutes under the light, zero to mild pain, now slightly red but itchy; sure hope I get results.

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Comment from: PJsmith, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I had photodynamic therapy done on a small area of my face where there was cancer and I got rid of the pain by using aloe vera soothing gel made by Herbalife. I read such bad reviews on the pain so I was dreading the treatment. The treatment was a non-event as the aloe gel took away all the pain. I just kept the area moist for 2 days and applied it whenever I felt pain.

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Comment from: Paul, Male (Patient) Published: February 13

I had my first blue light (photodynamic) therapy yesterday on the back of my neck and ears. The searing pain for 16 minutes is unbearable. And, it continues after the treatment ceased. It took about 8 hours for my skin to calm down a bit. Today is better, but my skin still burns and feels tight. I am to have my arms done next, but I question returning. Freezing is much less painful.

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Comment from: FranL, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 26

It been just under 72 hours since the photodynamic treatment (PDT). I have light skin and had about 8 areas of squamous cell and one basil cell lesion, so I decided to treat them all at once with PDT. Before the treatment physician applied the activating cream, she scraped the affected areas with a scalpel. I don't know if that is standard or not. Anyway, the treatment with light was painful. A thousand bee stings about describes it. I took a taxi home, I could not have driven. The next day there was swelling and in the areas scraped, there were abrasions with crusted blood. I doubt that is standard. I have been applying cold packs, moisturizer, antiseptics, and staying out of any sunlight. Well into the third day after the day of treatment and can't go out, it is frightening. It is beginning to crust, swelling is down, but I wonder if I made the right choice.

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Comment from: Prospector 03, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 15

I was treated with photodynamic therapy on 1/13/2015 at the Veterans' Affairs hospital. These are super caring people and have done a superb job of caring for me. My treatment lasted 16 minutes and 40 seconds (1000 seconds) as prescribed. I was a happy camper when the procedure stopped to say the least. My side effects have been pretty intense even with liberal applications of Eucerin lotion and desonide cream. Should I need to repeat this procedure in the future, I would most likely choose not to do so.

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Comment from: JamesM, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 02

I have had a number of photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatments so far, 2 or 3 on my face and most recently, a treatment to my arms and hands. I thought that my arms would be the easiest, but I was wrong. In all my PDT treatments it felt like my face and arms were tucked into a microwave oven with the safety device disabled. Extremely painful. Only the thought of my father-in-law, who endured skin cancer surgery, enabled me to sit there and endure the agony. My face treatments were somewhat endurable because the nurse provided me with a hand-held fan to blow air over my skin. My hands and arms were a different story, I have to blow air on them through my mouth to be able to endure it. I have confidence in my doctor, but I have to say that never once did she prepare me for the pain I was to endure and did not tell me to 'Motrin-up' to prepare myself for the pain. Right now my arms and hands feel like they are in the recovery stage of the worst sunburn I ever had, with peeling and weeping in some areas.

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