PDT is a treatment predominantly used for superficial types of skin cancer. It is effective in treating actinic keratoses and superficial basal cell carcinomas. PDT is also sometimes used off-label for facial rejuvenation and to treat mild to moderate acne. Several other conditions such as psoriasis and warts have been studied and may respond to PDT.
PDT utilises photosensitising agents, oxygen and light, to create a photochemical reaction that selectively destroys cancer cells. Photosensitising agents are drugs that are administered into the body through topical, oral or intravenous methods. In the body, they concentrate in cancer cells and only become active when light of a certain wavelength is directed onto the area where the cancer is. It is the photodynamic reaction between the photosensitising agents that kills the cancer cells.