Photodynamic Therapy is a treatment for sun damage called solar keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinomas in the upper part of the skin.
On the day, the affected areas are gently scraped or curetted after which a special cream called METVIX is applied on the affected area and this is immediately covered up for 3 hours as it breaks down on sun exposure and even ordinary light.
During these 3 hours you may sit well covered away from bright sunlight. The cream enters preferentially sun damaged areas and cancerous cells. At the end of 3 hours a red light is shone on the affected areas for 8 minutes. All the bad cells are destroyed.
The treatment may be painful so regular cold water sprays are applied and sometimes local anaesthetic injections as nerve blocks. In conclusion the area will be red and inflamed looking so a steroid ointment is applied for a few days, the areas start scabbing and the affected areas will settle in 1-2 weeks. The areas of solar keratosis , superficial Basal cell carcinomas are treated without surgery. The efficacy is around 80%.
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