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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Specialist

Dermatology Arts

Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology serving the areas of South Pasadena, Arcadia, San Marino, La Canada - Flintridge, and Los Angeles, CA

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) combines a light-sensitive medication with light therapy to destroy abnormal cells. At Dermatology Arts in South Pasadena and Arcadia, California, the team of dermatology experts uses PDT to treat certain types of skin cancer and skin conditions like psoriasis. To learn more about PDT and how it might benefit you, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Q & A

What is photodynamic therapy (PDT)?

PDT is a treatment for destroying abnormal cells. For therapy, you’re given photosensitizing medication, which is activated when exposed to light, triggering a chemical reaction that destroys abnormal cells. 

PDT is used to treat many conditions, including skin problems like psoriasis, skin cancer, and other types of cancer like esophageal and lung cancer. 

Am I a candidate for PDT?

The skilled Dermatology Arts team determines if you’re a candidate for PDT after an evaluation. The medical dermatologists specialize in treating all types of skin conditions that benefit from PDT. You may be a candidate for the therapy if you have:

Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a type of precancerous lesion, causing rough, scaly, patchy areas on sun-exposed areas of skin.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

BCC is a common type of skin cancer that affects the basal cells in your skin.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that triggers an overproduction of skin cells, creating red, scaly, itchy patches of skin. 


Warts are benign growths caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV).


Acne is a common skin condition that develops when skin cells and oil clog the pores in your skin, trapping bacteria that leads to blemishes. 

What happens during PDT?

The Dermatology Arts team customizes your PDT based on your skin condition. They review what you can expect during your therapy prior to treatment. 

First, your dermatologist applies or injects the photosensitizing medication in the desired area. This medication may take a few hours or a few days to reach the abnormal cells. 

Your provider schedules the light activation portion of your PDT based on how long it takes for the medication to reach your abnormal cells. You return to the office, and your provider then applies a light or laser to the area where you have abnormal cells.

 Light treatment takes 10-45 minutes.

What can I expect after PDT?

In most cases, you can resume your usual activities following PDT at Dermatology Arts. Your provider covers up your treated skin and provides specific instructions on how to care for your skin during the healing process.

It may take 2-6 weeks for your skin to heal. The team at Dermatology Arts schedules regular follow-up appointments to monitor your skin and provide other treatments as needed.

Schedule your PDT consultation by calling Dermatology Arts or booking an appointment online today.