Photodynamic therapy is a popular skin cancer treatment used to remove superficial precancerous lesions such as Actinic Keratoses, Bowen’s Disease and Basal Cell Carcinomas. This treatment is effective in treating non-melanoma skin cancer, which are a group of cancers which slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin. They are the most common forms of skin cancer, with over 400 people in the UK being diagnosed with the condition every day. If caught early enough, skin cancer can be treated and cured.
Photodynamic therapy works by using light and a cream. A light sensitive, topical cream is applied to the affected area. A light source, either natural or artificial, is then directed at the skin which reacts with the cream and destroys the abnormal cells. Both the cream and the light are harmless on their own, but when the cream is exposed to light, a reaction is caused. The skin around the lesion is protected with suncream so as to not be damaged by exposure to light.
You may experience mild tingling in the treated area but this can be soothed by a water spay. Following treatment, it is important to avoid direct sunlight for 48 hours as you will be more sensitive to light.
If you suspect you have skin cancer, or would like to find out about any of our skin cancer treatments, please get in touch to arrange a consultation with one of our Doctors.
Actinic Keratosis (AK)
An AK is the term used for a precancerous lesion of the skin arising as a consequence of overexposure to sunlight, resulting in the skin cells growing at an abnormally fast rate. AKs are usually found on the face, tips of ears, backs of hands, forearms and lower legs, and are reddish-brown in colour with a rough rather warty surface.
Bowen’s disease is the term used for a slightly more advanced actinic keratosis, where the abnormal skin cells occupy the full thickness of the outer layers of the skin. They can look similar to AKs, perhaps being slightly thicker and more warty, and more commonly found on the lower legs. Single or multiple lesions can be found. The patches tend to grow very slowly, and rarely transform into a true skin cancer called a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
BCCs (also known as rodent ulcers) are a type of skin cancer that either takes the form of a single bump or a series of small bumps. Multiple lesions are sometimes found in the same patient. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, however, early treatment is recommended because, if ignored, the tumour can enlarge and become locally invasive.
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Why choose St. Michael's Clinic?
Here at St. Michael's Clinic, Shrewsbury's leading private skin and laser treatment clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are able to offer NHS patients a consultant led dermatology service from our three sites in Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock and Donnington (Telford).
St. Michael's Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Stephen Murdoch is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. We are part of the Dermatology Partnership, a leading group of dermatology clinics, defined by clinical excellence and focusing on leading dermatological care.