Photodynamic therapy, also occasionally referred to as PDT, was originally conceived as a way to help eliminate skin cancer. Since that initial usage, it has expanded in medical applications and can now help to treat a variety of other types of cancer. It may even be helpful in providing rejuvenation after surgery. The therapy makes use of a combination of a photosensitizing chemical and a specific type of light source. When the light source comes into contact with the chemical, it causes the destruction or activation of key cells.
Ease of Use
One of the advantages photodynamic therapy has over other types of treatments is that it is generally less destructive than many of its partner rejuvenation and cancer treatment techniques. This means it will be less likely to cause pain in patients who are treated with this method. Additionally, the chances of excessive scarring and damage to the skin tissue are lower than those for many oher types of cancer treatment.
Excellent Recovery Time
Because this method of therapy makes use of specific areas of the skin, where the photosensitizing chemical is placed and allowed to absorb, it does not require the same amount of recovery time many other types of rejuvenation and cancer treatment techniques require. A patient may undergo photodynamic therapy and fully recover within a matter of just a few weeks.
Highly Specified Targeting
One of the best advantages photodynamic therapy has over other treatment methods is that it's highly localized and easier to specialize the form of treatment. Cancer treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation, or rejuvenation treatments, like washes and peels, all tend to have some "spill over" to unaffected areas of the skin. Photodynamic therapy, however, can be targeted to address only those issues that require its use. The photosensitizing chemical can be directly applied to the targeted area, and no other part of the skin will be affected by contact with the light source.
Treatment of Pre-Cancerous Areas
Photodynamic therapy is one of the few treatment methods that can actually be successful at addressing and eliminating certain pre-cancerous growths on the skin. This can be useful for anyone who has suffered from skin cancer previously and is more likely to have a recurrence. It can also help to improve the chances of a healthy recovery for first-time cancer sufferers or patients who are otherwise at risk.
While there are a great number of benefits to photodynamic therapy, its use as a rejuvenation technique is new to the field of skin medicine. Therefore, the long-term side effects and potential disadvantages are not entirely understood. If you suspect this may be a good treatment option for your skin condition, consult with a dermatologist.