Photodynamic therapy is a common procedure for treating a superficial skin cancer and solar keratoses. The lesion is identified and marked out and the surface is gently scraped to remove any crusting or scaliness on the lesion. This is sometimes mildly painful and may bleed. A special cream is then applied to the lesion after which it is covered with a dressing and this is left intact for three hours.


After the three hour time has lapsed you will return to the practice where the dressing and cream is removed. A bright light source is held between five to eight centimetres from the skin for approximately eight minutes to illuminate the lesion. Once the treatment is complete the lesion is cleaned and dressed again.

The dressing should be kept intact for at least 24 hours and the area protected from sunlight.The treatment for skin cancers is usually repeated again in one to three weeks, and our staff will guide you regarding a second booking if needed.

Some redness, swelling and crusting is expected after the procedure but generally will subside after a few days. Occasionally, more severe swelling, blistering, weeping or itching may occur. In some cases, the skin may become lighter or darker in colour. Increased skin colour generally fades over months but decreased skin colour can occasionally be permanent.

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