For PDT, a medicine, called the photosensitizer, is put near the cells that need to be destroyed. The photosensitizer may be put on the skin, taken by mouth, or given in a vein. Then the photosensitizer is "turned on" (activated) with light. The light used is often from a laser or from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The specific wavelength of light activates the medicine to make a kind of oxygen that kills nearby cells.
Photosensitizers will make the skin and eyes sensitive to light for about 6 weeks after treatment. So people who have PDT need to avoid direct sunlight and bright indoor lights.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Last Revised||January 23, 2013|
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise