Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Candidate

For what condition did you have photodynamic therapy?

Comment from: IcePick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I had first photodynamic therapy (PDT - Blue light) on whole face to treat actinic keratosis (AK) spots. I have a generally low pain tolerance, but didn't find treatment bad at all. Some intense tingling, pin prick sensation, but very tolerable as you know you'll be done with it in 16 minutes. My doctor places a large fan behind you to help cool things down, but I almost wish they wouldn't. I think I'll ask them not to next time. The office is cool anyway and with the fan I was shivering while the face was getting baked. That was worse to me than the treatment pain. It turned bright red the next day, but I am back to pretty normal color on day two. I will have to wait and see if I get any peeling.

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Comment from: jimh, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had the red light photodynamic treatment 2 days ago for keratosis. The treatment was very painful, but short at 4.5 minutes. I went to work the next day, and the lights in my building began to activate the chemical again causing a lot of burning, so I decided I needed to leave work and when I went outside, and the pain was intense even with a hat. The drive home was sheer torture. When they tell you to stay out of the sun for 48 hours that means stay in a dark setting or risk going through much worse pain than the original treatment for much longer.

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Comment from: Marc, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 03

I am on day 5 of my 7th photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment. I had my legs done in 5 treatments, then face, and now arm. I can say it was all worth it in the end. I have very light/freckled skin and plenty of solar keratosis lesions. This treatment cures all the bad ones. Make sure you take Brufen tablets an hour before. The pain during blue light treatment is terrible, teeth gritting stuff. Pain peak is at 7 minutes. Cold air application is essential. Afterwards ice packs for about 3 hours. Then more pain pills for the night. Next day is okay. Days 3 to 7 are awful. I had waves of stabbing pain like you have just put your hand on a stove. Then peeling starts and scabs start to flake off. Day 10 there is sudden relief. Day 14 it's all over.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

I am on day 4 of this photodynamic therapy treatment, I have lots of sun damage and 2 spots on my face the dermatologist called cancer cells. I will have to deal with the cancer cells another way, this treatment is horrifying, along with the pain, itching, burning I haven't been able to go to work or anywhere for that matter, I look like Freddie from the Halloween movies! Doctor said I would turn red, she is going to hear an earful when I see her again! Please inform people all the possible side effects!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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