Photodynamic therapy can be used to treat skin disorders like cancer, acne, psoriasis and wrinkles. The treatment is done by administrating a photosensitizing drug onto the skin or to the bloodstream. The drug is then activated with a laser or a light and, as a result, a reactive oxygen molecule is produced. The oxygen molecule will react with neighboring cells and kill them.
Photodynamic therapy is usually done as an outpatient procedure and you can go home the same day. Recovery from a skin photodynamic therapy is usually fairly simple. You may suffer from mild dryness of the skin and have mild sunburn on the treated area. It is important to avoid the sun for the first few days following the treatment. Even a short period of sun exposure may cause an increased amount of skin dryness, redness and burning. Stay indoors for 24 to 48 hours and keep away from sunlight. You will usually be able to return to work within 24 to 48 hours after a photodynamic therapy procedure.
Pain during Recovery
The treatment and recovery from photodynamic therapy is usually fairly painless. However, recovery and feelings of pain differ between individuals, and what might not be painful for you may feel painful for others. Mild skin irritation and discomfort is common but can be treated with application of topical creams and lotions. In case of severe discomfort and pain, your doctor may advise you to take acetaminophen or other pain relievers to treat the pain. Prescription drugs are rarely required.