Prior to Treatment:

  1. Cold sores: Are you prone to cold sores? If so, you should take your antiviral prophylactic treatment 2 days prior to coming in for PDT.
  1. Regarding facial hair and shaving for men: All men must shave their face before coming in for the procedure. Following treatment, please refrain from shaving with a razor blade until day 5 post treatment. You may use an electric razor after day 3 if desired.
  1. Wash your face thoroughly and bring a hat with you to the office for use after treatment.
  1. Do not apply makeup, lotions, or any skin care products prior to treatment. You may put sunscreen on but it will be removed in office before treatment.
  1. Please be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 ½ to 4 hours with us for your visit. A topical sensitizing medication will be applied to your skin and allowed to incubate for 1 ½ – 3 hours prior to being activated under the treatment light. We have magazines throughout the waiting area. We also offer free Wi-Fi if you wish to bring a laptop.

Post Treatment:

Day 1

Immediately following your treatment, please stay indoors. Avoid exposure to the sun and bright indoor lights for 48 hours.

  1. Ice packs & cool compresses: If you have any discomfort, begin applying ice packs or cool compresses (water soaked paper towels) to the treated areas. Apply these compresses frequently and use a light lotion, moisturizing cream, or Vaseline afterwards. This will help keep the area cool and alleviate any discomfort as well as help keep any swelling down.
  1. Swelling will be most evident around the eyes and is usually more prominent in the morning; it can last for a number of days.
  1. Avoid direct sunlight as well as bright indoor lights.
  1. You must use a potent sunscreen with a SPF 30 or greater.
  1. To alleviate pain, take Advil 400 mg every 8 hours.
  1. Apply topical Hydrocortisone 1% lotion to reduce stinging and burning. This can be purchased over the counter.
  1. You can shower as desired.
  1. You may take oral Benadryl, one to two capsules (25 to 50 mg), in the evening for the first few nights to reduce swelling and help you rest.

Day 2 :

Stay indoors. Avoid exposure to the sun and bright indoor lights.

  1. Continue to apply ice packs or cool compresses as needed to ease discomfort and swelling. Any discomfort usually subsides by day 7. Some patients may have a serious reaction with considerable swelling, redness and burning. Frequent soaks will usually be adequate as well as topical Hydrocortisone and oral Benadryl as listed above.
  1. Vinegar Soaks: You should soak the treated areas with a solution of 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in 1 cup of cold water for 20 minutes every 3 to 6 hours. Dip paper towels into the vinegar solution, squeeze out excess solution, fold the paper towel, and apply to the treated areas as needed. Ice may be applied directly over the vinegar soaks. The area should be patted dry and moisturized. You may use a moisturizing cream or Vaseline following the vinegar soaks.
  1. The photosensitivity to sunlight is usually gone 48 hours after treatment.

Day 3 to 7:

  1. For those who wear makeup, you may begin applying makeup once you are healed. Most patients will have completed peeling after 7 to 10 days. The area may be a healthy pink for 4 to 6 weeks.
  1. The skin will feel dry and tight. A good moisturizer should be used

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 301-681-7000.