How to Prepare for Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy is a skin treatment that involves the use of photosensitizing drug. The drug is first administrated to your skin or bloodstream and then activated with a specific wavelength of light. As a result, a reactive oxygen molecule is produced that kills nearby cells. Photodynamic therapy can be used to treat cancer, acne, wrinkles, psoriasis and many other skin conditions.

Photodynamic Therapy Preparation

On the day of the procedure, there are few steps you need to take before arriving at your physician's office. Clean the area of skin thoroughly by washing with soap and water. Do not apply any lotions, creams or makeup to your skin. Wear casual and comfortable clothes that cover the area to be treated. This can include a long sleeved shirt if you are having your forearms treated, or a scarf for facial treatments. You can eat your usual meals and take your normal medications, unless your physician has instructed otherwise.

Preparing for Post-Treatment

Typical photodynamic therapy procedures are done in your physician's office. Patients can usually drive themselves to and from the procedure, and do not need a driver. However, there are situations you might need to ask someone to drive you. These include if you are taking medications that affect your driving, if the area to be treated might affect your driving skills or if you feel more comfortable that someone else is driving you. The procedure can take a few hours and include lot of waiting time, so you might want to bring reading materials, music or snacks with you, to pass the time.

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