Patient Comments: Photodynamic Therapy - Candidate

For what condition did you have photodynamic therapy?

Comment from: Doctor Dee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I went to my first session of photodynamic treatment on my face for precancerous lesions and it was so excruciatingly painful, I only lasted 30 seconds. I'm a redhead and have felt sunburns in my lifetime. Nothing could have prepared me for this pain. Not sure what the doctor will do now. But she told me I was the only patient she ever had who experienced this.

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Comment from: padric, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I have had photodynamic therapy three times for actinic keratosis (AK). It can be painful during the blue light radiation. A 6 to 7 on a 10 point pain scale. Schedule it for a Thursday or Friday so that you will have the weekend to mostly recuperate. The procedure is covered by Medicare and so is way better than paying the outrageous prices they now charge for fluorouracil cream. Your recovery is faster and the technique is such that it is more effective in locating and destroying AK cells that have not yet disclosed themselves as visible red blotches.

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Comment from: Donna B, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I just had my second blue light treatment. The results for the second were the same as for the first. The photodynamic therapy treatment was better this time as they didn't have a fan the first time. This time I had a small handheld fan that I directed on to my face which made the intensity much more tolerable. I had the same hot feeling, redness and discomfort afterwards. I am a redhead and remember the childhood sunburns that got me here so the sensation of a severe sunburn is very familiar. It is the price you pay for the early burns. I lost a good friend to melanoma so I am all for taking away risk to my life caused by skin cancer. A few days or even weeks of discomfort for years of less risk works. Ibuprofen, ice packs, moisturizer (Aquaphor ointment) and patience. Stay out of the sun completely and that means away from windows. Use a gentle cleanser like Vanicream to clean the face 2 to 3 times a day in the first 24 hours, and then moisturize. Might be uncomfortable but being on the right side of the grass is the goal.

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Comment from: Will, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I went in for photodynamic therapy this morning. I had no idea what to expect except that I would need to avoid the sun and wear a hat for a couple of days. The nurse administering the procedure advised me that there would be a burning sensation (understatement). The procedure was being done on my scalp which has a lot of sun damage. When the blue light started I immediately felt as though gasoline was on my head out of control. The pain was so intense that I had to discontinue the procedure after only a couple of minutes. My doctor is planning to do a different procedure for me. I'll never attempt this again.

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Comment from: Liamn, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 17

It is four days after second facial treatment and four weeks after the first treatment. I was not prepared for my current condition, much more redness and leather-like condition of the skin. I am so concerned I looked into these photodynamic therapy effects and saw this blog. I hope my face doesn't start having further reactions that include some of the severe ones mentioned by others here. I'm surprised since the first treatment went almost without a hitch.

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Comment from: chris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

I am on my 5th day of recovery from blue light (photodynamic) therapy. I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't that bad as I have had horrible sun burns in my life. I am concerned about areas that were not affected by the treatment. There are some badly damaged areas (dark spots). These spots are primarily on the side of my face. I am wondering if they will eventually go away as it has only been 4 days. Other than that, I am doing fine. I have been in a lot of discomfort but have had sunburns worse than this.

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Comment from: Elarsen797, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 23

It is now two days after photodynamic therapy treatment. I will say the stories here scared the life out of me! However, the most painful part was the scrubbing with acetone they did to me before the treatment. While under the blue lights it felt like prickly heat/pins and needles, nothing remotely painful. Next day I looked pretty sunburnt and had some face swelling. Today I feel fine and only my forehead has a little pain still, but that is where I had the most problems to begin with. There are 4 or 5 scabby looking spots there. So I hope it was intense enough as for me this was a very mild and tolerable experience. We will see if it gets worse in 30 days when I go in for round 2!

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