Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy in Jacksonville, FL

Precancerous Lesion Treatment – Actinic Keratoses

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is the use of a medication that preferentially accumulates in the keratinocytes (skin cells) where it can be activated by a special light. PDT utilizes a topical (on the skin) photosensitizing agent in conjunction with a blue light that emits a specific wavelength of light. This produces a special activated oxygen molecule that can injure or destroy nearby cells. For acne, this results in minimizing pores and shrinking oil glands. PDT is most commonly used to treat precancerous lesions, or actinic keratoses.

How is the Procedure Performed?

The skin is cleaned to remove oils. Levulan Kerastick® is then applied to the skin and left on for a period of incubation, usually 2-3 hours. The patient is then placed under the blue light with protective goggles for approximately 17 minutes. After treatment a titanium/zinc sunscreen is then applied.

Benefits of Photodynamic Therapy

  • PDT is a very effective treatment for actinic keratosis, which can eventually turn into skin cancer.
  • Most patients notice an improvement in skin texture, reduced pigmentation from sun damage and an overall more youthful appearance.
  • Treatments using PDT for acne also yield excellent results by shrinking the sebaceous glands and destroying the bacteria that can cause acne.