Topical Photodynamic Therapy for Dermatologic Disorders: Results and Complications
December 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 12 | Original Article | 1197 | Copyright © December 2007
Kelley Pagliai Redbord MD, C. William Hanke MD
Background: Topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the use of a photosensitizing topical medication that is activated
by a light source in the presence of oxygen leading to cellular destruction and subsequent photorejuvenation. In
1999, the US FDA approved PDT for the treatment of nonhyperkeratotic actinic keratoses (AKs) on the face and scalp.
Observations: The study population comprised 85 patients treated with short-contact, topical aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-
PDT for a total of 247 treatments. Ninety percent of patients with a variety of dermatologic disorders had significant improvement
or total clearance. Ninety-eight percent of patients had no complications. Only 2 patients in our series had
a significant complication.
Conclusions: Short-contact, topical ALA-PDT is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of dermatologic disorders
including photoaging and AKs.