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You will be asked to wash the treatment area, and we will use a scrub to further cleanse your skin.
We will apply topical clear (colorless) medicine to the treatment area. It will stay on your skin for anywhere from 1 to 16 hours. It is important that you avoid sunlight and bright indoor lighting during this time.
There is no pain involved with the application of the medicine, but some patients may experience slight tingling of the skin.
You will be asked to wear protective goggles. Your skin will be exposed to 16 minutes and 40 seconds of bright blue colored light.
You will likely experience burning, tingling, stinging, and mild to moderate pain. These symptoms can be minimized by blowing air (with the hand-held fan) over the skin, applying ice packs, and by taking breaks in treatment (only if needed).
You may note burning, tingling, prickling, stinging, and limited pain within the first 24 to 48 hours of treatment.
Treated areas may turn bright red and/or become swollen. Afterward, you may notice peeling and significantly dry skin.
Sometimes the treated area surrounding actinic keratoses turns red, but this should improve with time.
Possible side effects
Reported side effects include:
Burning or stinging at the site of the photodynamic therapy treatment, which may be severe and last 24-48 hours after treatment.
Redness and swelling of the treated area, which may last up to 1 week
Scaling or crusting of the treated area, which may last up to 4 weeks
Limit side effects:
To prevent a severe sunburn-like reaction, strictly avoid direct sunlight, indirect sunlight through windows and skylights, and even bright indoor lighting for the next 48 hours. Sitting in a dimly lit room away from windows is best. Computer screens and televisions are okay.
Apply sunblock (containing either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) to the treatment area every 2-3 hours during the day. Keep in mind, however, that sunblock will not fully protect the area from the sun if you were to go outside.