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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

skin check for cancerHealthcare Inspectorate WalesWorried about changes in the appearance of your skin?

The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor or contact a dermatologist about any changes to a mole or the appearance of any part of your skin, including any persistent flaking, scab formation, ulceration and itching.

Sun damaged skin (actinic keratoses) Actinic keratoses are areas of sun-damaged skin found predominantly on sun-exposed parts of the body. Typical sites affected include the backs of the hands, forearms, face and ears, the scalp in balding men and the lower legs in women. They are usually harmless but there is a very small risk of some actinic keratoses developing into a form of skin cancer

What causes actinic keratoses? They are caused by excessive sun exposure over many years (from sunbathing, sunbed use, outdoor work or recreational activities) and are therefore more common in older people. Fair-skinned, blue-eyed, red- or blonde-haired individuals, who burn easily in the sun but tan poorly, are at particular risk.

What is photodynamic therapy? Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a novel and effective technique for treating sun-damaged skin. In PDT irradiation of the skin with high intensity red light activates a cream which has been applied to the affected area. This treatment destroys any abnormal cells in the skin before they turn cancerous. PDT involves the use of a light-sensitive cream (a photosensitiser). This photosensitiser is, by itself, harmless. When light of a certain wavelength is shone onto skin to which the photosensitiser has been applied, the photosensitiser is activated. This causes changes within the sun-damaged skin cells. Only the area of skin where the cream and light source is combined will be treated.

What other skin conditions can be treated with photodynamic therapy?

PDT can be used to treat various skin conditions including:

If you are concerned with changes to the appearance of your skin contact The Clear Skin Dermatology Treatment Clinic for an immediate appointment.