Dermatology & Cosmetic Care

Instructions for patients

PDT Care

View procedure instructions below.

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Procedure Instructions

Pre-Procedure Instruction Sheet for PDT Treatment

  • Please bring three things to your PDT treatment
  • A wide-brimmed hat** there will be a $10 charge for a hat if you do not bring one
  • A snack
  • Reading material (you will be sitting in the waiting area about 60 minutes)
  • Please purchase before you appointment:
  • Ice Packs
  • 1% Hydrocortisone cream (available over-the-counter)
  • Aquaphor or Vaseline ointment (available over-the-counter)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Acetaminphen (Tylenol)
  • If you have had cold sores in the past start taking your antiviral medication, if you have a history of cold sores, 1-2 days before you scheduled treatment. If you do not have medicine please let the doctor know right away.
  • Stop using any acne products or topical irritants such as Retin-A or salicylic acid 1 week prior to your treatment.
  • Please plan on spending two hours or so in our office.


If you have questions regarding the procedure or any of these items
Please call our office 805-497-8080

Patient Home Care Instructions FOLLOWING Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

  • Stay out of direct sunlight for 48 hours, even sunlight coming through a window at home.
  • Apply a sunscreen containing Elta M.D. zinc daily to the treated area. If you must be out in the sun, it must be very brief periods and you must wear a broad brimmed hat.
  • Keep the treated area clean to minimize risk for infection. Wash the treated area daily with a mild cleanser such as Dove or Cetaphil.
  • Take Advil or Tylenol if necessary for pain.
  • Spray on water to cool and moisturize the skin as often as you need.
  • Use ice packs if necessary to keep the swelling down.
  • Apply Hydrocortisone 1%(available over the counter), aloe vera, Aquaphor, or Vaseline, equal amounts of each substance, to the skin 2 times per day as needed for relief of pain, dryness or redness.
  • Avoid any acne regime or topical irritants such as Retin-A or salicylic acid until your skin is no longer peeling or flaking. Also avoid all masks, scrubs, or sonic machines.
  • Warm showers are OK (not hot).
  • If blisters form:
  • Use an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Polysporin twice per day.
  • If the treated area is stinging:
  • Soak the treated area with a washcloth dampened in a mixture of 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 cup of cold water for 20 minutes 4-6 times a day. You may apply ice packs over the soak for additional comfort.
  • You may begin applying makeup as soon as you feel comfortable and once any crusting has peeled.
  • If your face or scalp were treated, elevate you head on an extra pillow for 2 nights after the treatment while you sleep.


What can I expect post-treatment?

  • A sun-burn like effect is normal and can last for up to 7 days. This can mean anything from being light pink to swollen, red, and itchy sunburn.
  • Peeling may begin on Day 3 and 4. Make sure you do not pick!
  • Crusting may particularly occur where there was sun damage and/or actinic keratosis.


If you have any concerns, please call our office 805-497-8080. Any pain or pus warrants a call.




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