PDT begins with a sensitising cream that is applied to the surface of the skin and then covered for three hours. The skin is then exposed to a special red light treatment for eight minutes using the Aktilite lamp. The light reacts with the sensitised skin cells, causing the damaged skin cells to die while the normal cells remain unaffected. This treatment is very effective for management of certain skin cancers such as superficial basal cell carcinomas, Bowen’s disease (superficial squamous cell carcinomas) and pre-cancerous sun spots (solar keratoses).
PDT can also be used in combination with laser treatments to help to reduce pigmentation and improve skin texture.