Photodynamic Therapy - Candidate

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Am I a good candidate for photodynamic therapy?

The best candidates for PDT may be those with lighter or fair skin with sun damage.

You may not be a good candidate for photodynamic therapy if you have darker skin that tends to turn brown or discolor with certain light or laser treatments. You may also not be a good candidate for PDT if you are very sensitive to light, burn extremely easily, would be unable to stay out of sunlight for the required 24-48 hours, or are taking medications which may make you very sensitive to sunlight or light-based therapies. People with certain medical diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus) may not be candidates for PDT because of increased risk of burning from the light exposure.

Your decision on the best treatment choice may depend on different factors such as the location and type of skin lesions, your past treatments, your overall health, and level of comfort. Your physician can help you sort through the different treatments.

Your physician needs to know of any other medical conditions that may affect your procedure or overall wound healing. You would want to make sure to tell your physician beforehand if you have any extreme sensitivity to light-based treatments, take medications which make you very sensitive to light, have had a problem or bad effect from prior PDT, have systemic lupus erythematosus, or suffer from a condition called porphyria.

Your PDT physician needs to know if you have had a history of staph or other skin infections in the recent past. You will also want to advise your physician if you have a history of frequent cold sores (herpes virus infections on your face). In that case, you may be prescribed an antiviral tablet (cold-sore prevention pill) to take before and after your procedure. You may be asked to wash with a special antibiotic soap or wash like chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) the night or morning before your procedure to help reduce the number of bacteria on your skin.

Patients may need to also advise their physician of any drug allergies such as to topical anesthetics or other photosensitizers. Additionally, the surgeon may need to know of any bleeding or bruising tendencies, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or pregnancy.

Your physician will want to know of any factors that may affect your surgery or wound healing.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Windi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

Day 10 after photodynamic therapy (PDT) to my face and although I coped with the treatment, the healing is extremely traumatic. I was not prepared for the burning, redness, sloughing, pustules formation, itching, pin pricking pain, leathery feeling to my skin and looking so bad. I've cried a few times and I am struggling to think it will ever look like me again. No one prepared me for this. I was told afterwards that I had had a severe reaction which will mean a good result in the end. I was advised to have it by my skin specialist after two basal cell carcinomas to my nose in a 6 month period. I have been confined to home, staying indoors, ordering groceries online. It has been suggested I may need a second treatment. It won't be happening.

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Comment from: fedup, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

After having this photodynamic therapy 3 times for Bowen's disease, I can't stand the pain any more. Even after nerve block etc., it makes no difference. I think it is bad that they play it down and don't tell patients how it really is, especially on fingers and sensitive parts.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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