How Does Photodynamic Therapy Treat Skin Cancer?

skin cancer (1) Skin cancer, especially melanoma, can be an incredibly scary and nerve-wracking diagnosis. However, with early detection and proper care, the survival rate of those whose melanoma was detected before spreading to lymph nodes is a relieving 99%. Skin cancer treatments can vary depending on the individual and the progression of the cancer; however, there are some treatments that minimize side effects while maximizing their cancer cell-killing potency. One of those treatments is photodynamic therapy, or PDT, which uses light to eliminate abnormal, cancerous skin cells.

How Is PDT An Effective Skin Cancer Treatment?

PDT works as a two-stage skin cancer treatment. First, a topical medication is applied to the skin primarily on the sites known to have abnormal cells. The topical medication, usually a gel or liquid, is allowed to sit over the course of hours or days, being absorbed into the tumor cells. Once this process is complete, specific wavelengths of light are introduced that make the medication from before toxic to the cells they are in.

Because of the specificity of both the medication and the light, only tumor-containing cells are killed. It should be noted that PDT may not be effective to treat all forms and progressions of skin cancer. And it should also be noted that photodynamic therapy can even be used to treat psoriasis and other skin conditions! If you’re in California, specifically in areas like Burbank, Pasadena, Santa Clarita, and others, come in for a consultation to learn how we can best help you.

Are There Any Side Effects To PDT?

There are minimal side effects after the procedure. Typical ones to expect are some redness and swelling, as well as scabbing in some cases; however, these are all expected to be temporary. An important aspect to consider post-PDT is that the skin will be sensitive to sunlight for some time and it will be important to be mindful of sun exposure.

Come Into The Skin And Beauty Center Today

If you’re looking to learn more about photodynamic therapy and skin cancer, come into the Skin & Beauty Center today for an experienced team ready to care for you. Give us a call at 818-842-8000!

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