PDT or photodynamic therapy and PDT enhanced treatments are used for:
- Actinic Keratosis and superficial non-melanoma skin cancers
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots and photo-rejuvenation
PDT represents a useful advance in light based medicine both for treating a range of skin conditions plus rejuvenating the skin.
This works in two stages:
1. A cream (containing aminolevulinic acid (ALA) or methyl-ALA) is applied to the skin that the body converts into an active photosensitizing chemical (Protoporphyrin IX) that sensitizes the skin to light or laser
2. The skin with photo-active Protoporphyrin is then exposed to laser or light of certain wavelengths
Depending on what is being treated different photosensitizer preparations are used along with differing skin preparation and choice of light sources and laser.
This can be used to selectively target precancerous and cancerous skin lesions. It can also be utilized to enhance photo rejuvenation treatments.
For photorejuvenation this can be done utilizing a liposomal enhanced delivery system of low contentrations of ALA for 3-4 monthly treatments to avoid downtime and post treatment light sensitivity or utilizing a higher concentration associated with more downtime and fewer treatments sessions
For actinic keratosis treatment natural daylight can also be utilized.
The following picture shows the activation of ALA within sun-damaged cells prior to laser activation: