Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Phototherapy is a type of therapy that uses UV light to treat a variety of skin conditions. Several types of phototherapy exist, UVB light treatments and photodynamic therapy or PDT. The approach used by our dermatologists depends on the nature of the skin condition being treated. Contact Metropolitan Dermatology for assistance in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck, New Jersey and Staten Island New York..
PDT for Lesions, Acne or Nail Fungus
Basic UVB phototherapies work by exposing skin to ultraviolet light under the supervision of a medical professional or dermatologist. The light suppresses the immune system, which reduces the inflammation associated with a variety of skin conditions.
Photodynamic therapy works by combining the use of light as well as light-sensitive compounds. These compounds become active when exposed to light and are capable of killing certain cells and microorganisms. This can be useful in treating conditions that result from an overpopulation of microorganisms, such as fungal infections and acne.
Who is a candidate for this procedure?
Basic UVB phototherapy can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions that result in inflammation, including vitiligo, eczema and psoriasis. It may also be used to cure itching that occurs without a known cause. Photodynamic therapy can be used to treat a broad range of conditions, such as acne, nail fungus or precancerous lesions.
Although most patients can participate in phototherapy, you may not be a candidate for this procedure if you have a sunlight allergy, liver disease, certain eye conditions, a skin condition that worsens with exposure to UV light or a history of skin cancer. You must typically be able to stand upright for the duration of your session in order to participate in light therapy.
What's involved in photodynamic therapy treatments?
Phototherapy treatments are usually performed in a doctor's office. During the procedure, affected areas will be undressed and exposed to a specific type of UV light for a predetermined amount of time. The procedure may be repeated multiple times on different days to maximize effectiveness.
Depending on your condition, you may be asked to take a light-sensitizing medication before treatment. You may also be asked to apply photosensitizing cream to targeted areas. Your first therapy sessions will be brief. If your condition responds well to treatment, the length of your sessions will gradually increase over time until your physician obtains the corrective results.
What are the advantages of PDT?
Photodynamic therapy offers many advantages, some of which are detailed below:
- No surgeries, wounds or scars
- Causes only minimal side effects
- Effective treatment of a variety of conditions
- Alternative treatment for conditions that often require invasive procedures
Will I need follow-up treatments?
In most cases, photodynamic therapy is performed in multiple treatments. One treatment is rarely enough to resolve the condition in question. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, you may need as many as 30 sessions. If the condition being treated recurs after your treatment regimen is complete, you may undergo more therapeutic sessions, or your dermatologist may opt for another type of treatment.