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PDT or Blu-U PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY

Also known as blue light treatment, PDT uses a substance called photosensitizer together with a particular wavelength of light to destroy unwanted cells.

 

INDICATIONS

  • Actinic keratoses. AKs are irregular rough spots made up of sun-induced precancerous cells.
  • In research centers, some superficial skin cancers are being treated entirely with PDT
  • Ideal for patients who prefer not to undergo the more prolonged topical chemotherapeutic regimens.
  • Inflammatory acne, meaning the pustules, red bumps and cysts (not the whiteheads and blackheads) can show a remarkable response to PDT.

THE SCIENCE

  • The interaction between the photosensitizing agent and the light treatment activates an oxygen molecule that can destroy nearby cells.
  • The Blu-U light is ideal for precancerous cells as they are located more superficially in the skin.
  • The acne process, on the other hand, starts deeper in the follicle and therefore requires a deeper penetrating red light source.

THE TREATMENT

  • The procedure requires three steps: application, incubation and light activation.
  • First the drug is applied to prepped skin in the form of a liquid or a cream. We use both the Kerastick as well as the newer Ameluz product. The drug is allowed to air dry and then incubate from 1 to 3 hours, sometimes overnight, depending on the condition.
  • The skin is then exposed to the appropriate light source. The patient generally feels an intense tingling or heat. The use of a small fan increases the patient’s comfort.
  • In some cases, even daylight may be used as a light source.
  • The treated areas are usually light sensitive for the next 48 hours.
  • Depending on the severity of the condition, more than one session may be required.