Photodynamic therapy is used in the treatment of skin cancers, psoriasis, acne and skin conditions such as sun damage and wrinkles. The therapy involves the use of a photo-sensitizing agent in the presence of a specific wavelength of light and tissue oxygen to create a chemical that is toxic to malignant cells. The photo-sensitizing agent also damages blood vessels in the tumor which leads to deprivation of essential nutrients for these cells. The immune system is also triggered by this therapy to recognize the alien nature of the targeted cells and attack them. The therapy is an outpatient procedure that's carried out by a dermatologist under local anesthesia.
Pregnancy and Photodynamic Therapy
There are several photo-sensitizing agents that can be used in photodynamic therapy, and studies have proved that these agents are not safe for pregnant women. Most pregnancies ended in miscarriages after photodynamic therapy. Pregnancies that culminated in the birth of a baby generally resulted in babies with birth defects. Although the safety or harmful nature of photo-sensitizing agents used in photodynamic therapy has not yet been established in pregnancy, it is recommended that it's best not to undergo photodynamic therapy while you are pregnant.