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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

At Clarkston Dermatology, we believe in offering our patients in Clarkston and Troy the most cutting-edge treatments to treat skin cancer and avoid the need for invasive surgery. We understand that you want a personalized experience and real, effective results, but you can be left feeling like just a number in the medical industry without a team that partners with you. We believe your concerns should not be ignored, and that's why we have spent the last 14 years dedicated to building relationships.


With the assistance of special drugs known as “photosensitizing agents,” cancer cells can become weakened when exposed to high-intensity light from a laser. During the first phase of photodynamic therapy, patients will be given the photosensitizing agents, either in pill form, as a cream, or sometimes as a liquid. The drugs are given time to be absorbed by the cells before light therapy is used to activate the photosensitizing agents and kill the cancer cells.

There are typically two stages over which photodynamic therapy is performed.

In the first stage of the treatment, patients will be given a special light-sensitive drug. Alternatively, for those receiving treatment for skin cancer, it's often a cream instead. Once patients have taken the drug, it could be as long as a few days or as short as a few hours before the drug builds up in the cancer cells. Once this happens, we move onto stage two of treatment.

In stage two of photodynamic therapy, a special light emitting from a laser is shone onto the cancer cells. When the light hits the treatment area, the drug will be activated and will go to work on killing the cancer cells. When treating internal cancers, either a scan or an ultrasound will be used instead to ensure that the tumor receives the light.

It is possible that, for a while at least, you may become sensitive to light after photodynamic therapy treatment. You’ll want to ensure that you avoid bright lights and the sun, but this will pass in time.

Photodynamic therapy can be used to treat a wide array of cancers by directing light to abnormal cells in areas such as the skin, mouth, eyes, esophagus, and lungs.

The following conditions are typically treated with photodynamic therapy:

Cancers such as mouth cancer, lung cancer, and esophageal cancer can be cured by photodynamic therapy if caught early enough; alternatively, it can offer relief for those whose symptoms have reached more advanced stages.
Skin cancer in its earliest form, known as Bowen’s disease, can be treated with photodynamic therapy.
Macular degeneration, a serious eye condition that often leads to a loss of vision, may be treated with this therapy.
Actinic keratosis, when sun damage causes dry and scaly patches of the skin, can become cancerous if not treated with photodynamic therapy.
Basal cell carcinoma, another type of skin cancer, can be treated with photodynamic therapy.
Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where cells in the lining of the esophagus change, can become cancerous if not treated early.

Areas We Serve

We offer Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treatments to residents of the following areas: Clarkston, Oxford, Oxford Township, Birmingham, Troy, and all of Oakland County, MI (Michigan). Although our offices are are located in Clarkston and Oxford, Michigan, we regularly serve patients throughout the entirety of Oakland County who need a skin doctor for medical care related to Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

Your path to clear, healthy, vibrant skin begins with a simple consultation. Book one today to meet with one of our medical experts to identify your path forward.
CLARKSTON DERMATOLOGY MAIN OFFICE 5701 Bow Point Dr. Suites 215 & 217 Clarkston, MI 48346 (248) 620-3376
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