Photodynamic therapy

What is it?

Photodynamic therapy is a treatment that uses irradiation of small areas of skin for the treatment of various dermatological conditions in the oncological and aesthetic field.

Technical difficulty:
Average duration of the intervention:
3 hours
Average duration of hospitalization:

When is this procedure indicated?

In the oncological field - the field for which the therapy was created - it is used for the treatment of pre-tumor and tumor lesions, in case of superficial basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease). Therapy is also indicated in cases of actinic keratoses of the face and scalp.

The effectiveness of the therapy has made it a reference in the treatment of other conditions: sun damage (photodamage) to the face, decolletage and hands; acne, warts, fungal infections and ulcers.

How is it performed?

Photodynamic therapy consists in the application of a cream based on aminolevunic acid on the skin in location of the lesion, immediately covered for 3 hours with an occlusive bandage to allow the substance to reach the damaged and infected cells. The molecule used, in fact, interacts exclusively with the most unstable cells favoring an oxidative reaction that, thanks to the subsequent application of light (a red LED light) for 10 minutes, destroys them. In some cases, it is necessary to pre-treat the keratotic lesions by removing the most voluminous crusts that would hinder the action of the cream.


Service is performed in an equipped outpatient clinic.

Short-term complications

The treatment is considered to be a more tolerated alternative to other medical therapies, and like any procedure, it is not without risks, although very small ones. You may experience a burning sensation/pain during treatment. It derives from the phototoxic action that selectively eliminates damaged cells. Over the next 24 hours, burning and itching may occur, usually only transient, and sometimes swelling or edema. These symptoms will disappear on their own within a week or two. If modest, the use of decongestant compresses is sufficient; when more intense, painkillers can be used.

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

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