Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Experience

Please describe your experience with photodynamic therapy.

Comment from: Bocephus, (Patient) Published: November 24

I had blue light therapy on the back of my hands and forearms 10 days ago. I have been back to the doctor twice, emergency room once and have another doctor's appointment today. The area looks like third degree burns and I can hardly move my hands due to swelling, blisters, scabs and pain! Not sure if this is normal (as the doctor says) but this photodynamic therapy has been a terrible experience. Not sure I would ever put myself in this position again.

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Comment from: ouch, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I believe the intensity of the pain and reaction is proportional to the amount of time the acid gel is left on prior to the light treatment. I had my first photodynamic treatment to both of my arms a little over a month ago. The gel was left on for 90 minutes and the light treatment was the standard 16 minutes and 40 seconds. I felt mild tingling during the treatment but it really wasn't painful. I was slightly red for a few days; not any worse than a very mild sunburn and I never peeled. I had my second treatment yesterday and it was absolutely nothing like the first. The gel was left on for 3 hours prior to treatment. During the light treatment, the pain was bordering unbearable and I consider myself to have a high pain threshold. It felt like my arms were actually on fire, or placed up against a metal radiator, or burning on a hot stovetop; extreme pain. Driving myself home was torture and actually made me cry. I've had ice packs on all night and the burning is still incredible. I can hardly move my arms. After the first treatment, I was certainly not expecting this. I sure hope I get good results after all this.

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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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