Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Candidate

For what condition did you have photodynamic therapy?

Comment from: RBD, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 05

Had the photodynamic therapy 48 hours ago for facial actinic keratosis. The light (red) therapy itself was extremely painful, picture putting your face in a heated oven for 20 minutes. The only thing that made it bearable was the fact I was provided with a hose which gave off cool air. I was able to constantly rotate cool air on the treated areas. The nurse also stayed and engaged in small talk, obviously trying to get my mind off the intense pain. I am very red, as in a bad sunburn. Very blotchy also, and now 48 hours later finally feeling skin tightness. Hope it was worth it down the line.

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Comment from: SP, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I agree that this is a very painful procedure. I spent 15 minutes under the light, and it was probably the worst 15 minutes of my life so far in terms of pain level. If I ever did this again, I would definitely request Valium or something like that prior to the procedure. I experienced extremely red skin on my face, and as of day 5 post treatment, almost all of my skin has peeled off. Very unpleasant experience (but hopefully worth it).

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Comment from: burned to a crisp, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

If you have a lot of sun damage on your face, lots of AK (actinic keratosis), be prepared for a very painful photodynamic therapy (PDT) experience, with the pain lasting way longer than the doctors typically predict. I had the procedure nearly 4 days ago for actinic keratosis and the swelling and tingling/stinging are still bad. I have a very high tolerance for pain, I"m an athlete. Yet I had to beg my doctor for pain medications to deal with the anxiety and trauma of being in severe pain for this long. My advice is, get pain medications up front and don"t take no for an answer! Also, don"t do this procedure unless you feel all other options have been exhausted.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I have just had PDT treatment done and I have NEVER experienced that kind of pain before, it was close to unbearable and I think one should be informed to a more expanded view of just how painful this procedure can be. It has been 5 days and I am peeling severely around the damaged areas with still some sore spots. For me, I would think twice before having to endure that pain again.

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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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Published: May 02

I had the treatment done for a second time yesterday. It is worth any pain you may experience, and as a bonus, your skin will look better. One thing that will make your recovery more bearable is to lie in a darkened room with your head propped up and keep a fan pointed at your face (on low speed). If you are lucky as I am, your “other half” will take care of you. No pain, no gain on this one.

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Comment from: Indysailor, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

I recently had the PDT treatment done. The first surprise was the use of acetone to cleanse the skin after that another cream applied and a 1 hour waiting period. Then a second cleansing with acetone. The product was then applied and the lamps turned on. It wasn't long before I was thinking about stopping due to the increasing stinging all around my face. The nurse came over with a book or something and began fanning the air which brought some relief or at least I thought it did. Might have just taken my mind off the pain. This is now day 4 and I look like Mr tomato head,starting to peal but the majority of pain is gone. Some swelling under my eyes. I have applied triple Antibiotic Ointment + pain Relief which has helped a bunch.

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Comment from: baby boomer baby oil, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

I received PDT for actinic keratoses and brown spots on my skin. I am on day 3 of my recovery. Fortunately the nurse used a pain relieving cream for 15 mintues before the blu-light was applied. The first night at home I could hardly sleep, the stinging and pain were so bad and yes I took an ibuprofen. The second night there was actual throbbing even though I was using two pillows as suggested. It now looks like I am breaking out into a dermatitis or rash on my forehead. Too much lotions? I don't know I will have to call the dermatologis in the morning. I would have to say neither the nurse or the dermatologist mentioned the pain and the constant stinging. I could of been easily given more information on this but I wasn't.

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