2424 E 21st Street Suite 340, Tulsa, OK 74114

Photodynamic Therapy

What to Expect after PDT (Photodynamic Therapy)

What is PDT?

PDT is a treatment that is used to treat pre-cancers on the skin called actinic keratoses. Often it can treat pre-cancers that are not yet noticeable. PDT is also called “blue light.”

PDT is a 2 step process. First, a liquid medication will be applied to the area that will make it very sensitive to light. Second, we will shine a blue light on the area to activate the medicine and treat the pre-cancers in that area. The appointment will last about one hour.

How to Prepare for PDT?

Notify your provider if you recently took an antibiotic, Accutane, or used a topical retinoid such as tretinoin, adapalene or tazarotene. If you have a history of cold sores, take your antiviral medication the morning of your treatment.

On the day of treatment do not apply creams, lotions or makeup to the area and do not shave.

*You will be under the blue light for 30 minutes. We will supply protective eye goggles for you to wear. Many patients bring an audiobook, music, or podcast to listen to during treatment as reading will not be feasible due to the protective eyewear required.

Bring something to protect the area from sunlight on your drive home (wide brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt, gloves, etc.)

After your treatment: Avoid all UV light for 48 hours. This includes sunlight, bright lights, and even blue light. If your face is treated, avoid using your computer, tablet, or phone at a close distance. Watching TV from a distance and normal house lights are ok.

For 1-2 weeks, you may have redness that feels like a sunburn, slight swelling, peeling, itching, or crusting.

You may use cool compresses (cold cloth or ice pack) to the treated area a few times a day if needed. Clean the area daily with a gentle, non-fragranced cleanser and apply moisturizer at least twice a day (such as Cetaphil or CeraVe). Do not pick or scrub your skin. A layer of Vaseline can also be used as needed. If you have discomfort, you can take Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin as directed. After strict avoidance of UV for 48 hours, still be cautious with sun exposure and wear sun protective clothing and/or sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (reapply at least every 2 hours).

Call the office with any questions or concerns at (918) 728-3100.

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