Intended for healthcare professionals

Topical photodynamic therapy – extending horizons

Topical photodynamic therapy is used to treat a variety of premalignant and malignant skin lesions. Its place in the therapy of inflammatory dermatoses remains to be defined. PDT involves the destruction of tumour cells by a photochemical process. A photosensitiser is administered topically or systemically and concentrates in the tissue to be treated. An oxygendependent photochemical reaction is triggered by illumination with light of a wavelength matching the absorption spectrum of the photosensitiser. Highly reactive singlet oxygen is produced, resulting in the destruction of the target cells while the surrounding normal skin is left relatively unharmed.
Dermatology in practice 2002; 10(2): 6–10
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