Photodynamic therapy

"Its great advantages are its specificity, its selectivity (since it does not damage healthy tissue), its safety and its few side effects".


Photodynamic therapy is a selective treatment for some skin carcinomas, such as superficial basal cell carcinoma and some precancerous lesions, such as actinic keratosis (red, scratchy lesions that, in addition to being precancerous, give an unsightly appearance to the skin, showing it to be older).

This is one of the main manifestations of photo-aging and skin cancer.

Its great advantages are its specificity, its selectivity (since it does not damage healthy tissue), its safety and its few side effects. After 3 months, the skin is, in general, completely normal. 

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When is photodynamic therapy indicated?

In addition to the indication of photodynamic therapy for some skin carcinomas, its application can also improve the results of other techniques, such as surgery, because when applied, it better delimits the affected area and makes the intervention easier. 

In addition, it can serve as a guide as a method for detecting lesions by means of fluorescence, delimiting the lesion and determining its scope.

Most frequent indications of this treatment:

Do you have any of these diseases?

It may be necessary to perform photodynamic therapy

How is the treatment with photodynamic therapy?

  • Upon returning, the cream is removed and the area to be treated is illuminated for approximately 10 minutes. In most cases, two treatment sessions are required. Exceptionally, additional sessions may be required.
  • During the application of the light, the patient may experience itching, burning, heat or pain that is relieved by the use of cold air, cold water spray or some local anesthetic.
  • After the treatment, you may have itching or burning for one or two days. In addition, swelling, crusting and tanned skin may occur and will improve over the next few days.
  • The wound should be kept covered for 24 hours, since during this period the treated area is sensitive to light. The patient can shower normally, and the wound should be kept dry.
  • In case of pain, you can take paracetamol or other painkillers prescribed by the doctor. You should also follow the local care indicated by the doctor.
  • The scab comes off about 7 to 10 days after illumination.
  • The skin heals in 2 to 3 weeks after the illumination. Erythema and edema may occur.
  • After 3 months the skin is generally completely normal.
  • On the day of treatment the scabs are removed from the lesion, the cream is applied and it is left covered for 3 hours. During this period, the patient can return to his home or work.

Where do we do it?


The Department of Dermatology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Dermatology of the Clinica Universidad de Navarra has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of dermatological diseases.

We have extensive experience in highly precise surgical treatments, such as Mohs surgery. This procedure requires highly specialized personnel. 

We have the latest technology for the dermo-aesthetic treatment of skin lesions, with the aim of achieving the best results for our patients.

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Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in Mohs Surgery for the treatment of skin cancer.
  • We have the best technology for dermo-aesthetic treatments.
  • Safety and quality assurance of the best private hospital in Spain.