PDT is used in the treatment of actinic keratoses (AKs). AKs are rough, dry, scaly patches on the skin varying in size and color and are a result of excessive exposure to UV light. AKs are most commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as face, scalp, ears, neck and hands. They are the most common precancer with the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma. PDT is used to treat AKs by applying an in-office topical solution that is absorbed by the AK cells and then converted to a chemical that makes the AKs extremely sensitive to light. The treatment area is then exposed to a blue light illuminator, a reaction occurs and the unhealthy AKs are destroyed.
PDT is a two-treatment process spaced eight weeks apart with minimal downtime required.