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Lasers Med Sci. 2009 Nov;24(6):971-80. doi: 10.1007/s10103-009-0716-x. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Photodynamic therapy in dermatology: a review.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is used for the prevention and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer. Until recently, clinically approved indications have been restricted to actinic keratoses, nodular and superficial basal cell carcinoma, and, since 2006, Bowen disease. However, the range of indications has been expanding continuously. PDT is also used for the treatment of non-malignant conditions such as acne vulgaris and leishmaniasis, as well as for treating premature skin aging due to sun exposure. The production of reactive oxygen intermediates like singlet oxygen depends on the light dose applied as well as the concentration and localization of the photosensitizer in the diseased tissue. Either cytotoxic effects resulting in tumor destruction or immunomodulatory effects improving inflammatory skin conditions are induced. Treating superficial non-melanoma skin cancer, PDT has been shown to be highly efficient, despite the low level of invasiveness. The excellent cosmetic results after treatment are beneficial, too.

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