Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Candidate

For what condition did you have photodynamic therapy?

Comment from: Ecm, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I had photodynamic therapy (PDT) done 12 days ago for 3 actinic keratosis spots on my face, one on my nose and 1 on each cheek. It was the most painful recovery that I have ever experienced. My face was very swollen after and turned tomato red. Between day 6 and 11 my face was constantly bleeding and painful and beet red. Bleeding slowed down but the redness has not gone down as of today which is day 12. I would never have this procedure done again, most painful experience ever.

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Comment from: nor so red one, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I had photodynamic therapy (PDT) three days ago for scalp actinic keratosis, and had no pain under the lights or afterwards and subsequently, mild to moderate redness. I may need to do another treatment but wanted to say that not everyone experiences pain or extreme redness. I will report back after ten days and give an account of how well or not the treatment worked.

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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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