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Sun Damaged Skin – Photodynamic therapy treatments in Cardiff

Health Inspectorate WalesPhotodynamic therapy (PDT) is a technique for treating certain skin cancers and sun-damaged skin which might one day turn cancerous (pre-cancers).

In PDT a light beam activates a cream which has been applied to the affected area of skin. This treatment kills the abnormal cells in the skin but leaves the normal cells unaffected.


Photodynamic therapy patientPhotodynamic therapy uses laser or other bright light sources, combined with a light-sensitive drug to destroy cancer cells. The drug is attracted to cancer cells. It does not become active until it is exposed to visible red light. When the light is directed at the area of the cancer, the drug is activated and the cancer cells are destroyed. No cutting, grafting or stitching of the skin is required, so the treatment leaves no scarring. It is, therefore, particularly good for treating the face and other skin areas where surgery is difficult or in patients who may be at risk of poor healing, such as diabetics and patients on blood thinning medications.

Precancerous conditions

Photodynamic therapy is used to treat areas of severe sun damage which may also have precancerous conditions such actinic keratoses. These are areas of rough, raised skin, that may have crusty areas that sometimes bleed if scratched. If left untreated, there is a small risk that some may progress to skin cancers. They are often found on the scalp, ears, face and the backs of the hand.

Skin Cancer

Photodynamic Therapy can be used instead of surgery to treat  certain thin skin cancers such as basal cell skin carcinoma (bcc) and Bowen’s disease. In cancers that are being treated at an early stage, the aim of Photodynamic therapy treatment is to try to cure the cancer. With more widespread cancers, Photodynamic Therapy may shrink the cancer to make other treatment options such as surgery easier and less disfiguring. Your hospital doctor or Clear Skin’s Consultant Dermatologist can advise you whether Photodynamic Therapy is an appropriate treatment in your situation.

Top Sun Safety Tips

  • Avoid severe sunburns – if you go on a sunny holiday, gradually increase exposure
  • Don’t use sunbeds. A tan is the result of sun damage to your skin.
  • Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, T shirt and UV protective sunglasses.
  • Seek shade between 11 am and 3 pm when it’s sunny.
  • Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 which also has high UVA protection.
  • Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
  • The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole – if your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist

Where can I get more information about photodynamic therapy? You can find more information about photodynamic therapy from:

Or contact Clear Skin today .