Photodynamic Therapy

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Photodynamic Therapy

Treat Skin Conditions with Light-Activated Medications in Denver

Dr. Joel Cohen and the AboutSkin Dermatology team have actively used photodynamic therapy in Denver for years. Not only have they applied it to great effect to treat a range of medical dermatology conditions, but they have also been heavily involved with clinical trials involving the innovative technology.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a two-part treatment. First, a photo-reactive drug, known as a photosensitizing compound, is applied topically, covering the treatment area. The compound is left to absorb into the skin for a set amount of time, depending on the condition being treated. Second, the compound is exposed to light made up of specific wavelengths, typically in the blue range. This “activates” the compound, causing it to kill the cells in the treatment area.

What Can Photodynamic Therapy Treat?

Because of the way the light-activated photosynthesizing compound works, photodynamic therapy is especially effective on lesions known as actinic keratoses. These are considered to be “pre-cancerous” lesions that form in areas that have experienced significant cumulative sun exposure and damage. Once activated, the photosynthesizing compound kills the cells that make up the lesion.

AboutSkin was part of the trial that successfully explored photodynamic therapy as a treatment for superficial basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. Known as BCC, this cancer grows slowly, but early detection and rapid treatment are still imperative. If left undiagnosed and untreated, BCC can grow beyond the skin, impacting muscle tissue, nearby nerves, and underlying bones.

Photodynamic therapy can also be used to treat acne, because the activated compound kills the P. acnes bacteria responsible for flare-ups of comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), papules, pustules, and more severe nodes and cysts.

For patients seeking rejuvenated skin for cosmetic reasons, photodynamic therapy can be used in conjunction with other light therapies.

What PDT Treatments Are Available?

Ameluz is an aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride gel activated by both BLU-U® and BF-RhodoLED® lamp to treat mildly to moderately severe actinic keratoses on the face, scalp, arms, and chest. The wavelength used for this treatment is either the blue or the red portion of the spectrum, depending on the severity of disease.

Skin treated with photodynamic therapy is especially sensitive to subsequent sun exposure. Patients should avoid ultraviolet radiation for at least 48 hours following a treatment session. The treated skin may redden, itch, scale, and form a crust. These side effects typically last for up to four days, though they may persist for one or two weeks or longer.

After the crusts flake away, the underlying skin should appear and feel smooth.

Arrange a Consultation

Because photodynamic therapy is a powerful solution to several medical and cosmetic problems, it is important to meet with a Board-Certified Dermatologist to determine whether the treatment is ideal for a given condition. The treatment should be administered only by a trained and experienced medical professional. Contact AboutSkin Dermatology to discuss any skin concerns and arrange for a consultation to find an effective and safe solution.





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What our patients say about us


Dr. Cohen is 'a derm's derm' -- his published research and opinions are sought after by other dermatologists obsessed with the latest innovations in cosmetic dermatology, including lasers, neuromodulators, and fillers. He's also trained many of these derms. Dr. Cohen is arguably one of the best in the U.S., though he's not flashy or self promoting --just intensely focused on achieving elegant, successful results. I stumbled into his practice quite by accident, and could not be happier. His PA Christina is also phenomenal.


I am so pleased with the high level of expertise and care I have received from Dr. Cohen, Dr. Ho and his medical assistants Cristina and Emily. From the Mohs surgery, to a multitude of lasers, to skin checks; the doctors  have been extremely conscientious and strive to have a relationship with their patients.  I am thrilled with the results of my cosmetic procedures and surgery.  In addition, They are kind and very humble providers. It truly is an honor to be a patient of Dr. Cohen and to be a valued patient of his medical practice. Truly the best in the country.. and The World. Thank you Dr. Cohen and Dr. Ho and staff!

Chris J

Have been a patient of Dr. Stoler for a long time. She knows me well and takes excellent care of my skin. Also gives good and appropriate advice!

Judy Saul

Dr. Joel Cohen was highly recommended to me by several other dermatologists for his expertise in laser technology. I was not only impressed with the treatment I received from Dr. Cohen, but also his wonderful, highly skilled staff. The entire experience was top notch!

Linda Aibel

This is the BEST dermatology and cosmetic location you will ever find! Truthfully they give all the attention and care anyone could ask for. I’m always blown away at their kindness and their service. Doctor Jade Fettig always takes her time to talk to me, answer any questions and recommend the best treatment. Highly highly recommend AboutSkinDermatology. You will love it there too guaranteed! =)

Roberta Rachkovsky

Dr. Stoler is the best!

Karen Maxwell

I have been a patient of About Skin Dermatology for over 12 years. Everyone that I have ever encountered at this practice has been knowledgeable and very kind. I see both Dr. Ho and Dr. Cohen. My skin has not looked this good in years. My whole family goes to this practice. I would highly recommend About Skin Dermatology.


Dr Fettig was great- took her time with me and answered my questions. She has a nice bedside manner and good sense of humor.

Cindy Wells

I used Dr. Cohen for a Mohs procedure. He is fellowship trained and extremely competent. Dr. Cohen remained involved in my follow up care with a plastic surgeon and was always readily accessible and available to address my concerns. Both he and the office staff are caring and committed to providing the highest level of professional service. I highly recommend Dr. Cohen. I think it’s very nice.

Richard Z

I have been impressed with my Botox treatment from Dr Cohen at AboutSkin Dermatology. He and his staff are incredibly professional and pleasant. Maddie is always flexible and accommodating with my hectic schedule. Dr. Cohen takes time and a genuine interest in his patients. I highly recommend him for any cosmetic procedures.

Kendra W

Dr Stephen Ho is a fantastic dermatologist. He takes the time to listen to concerns and he patiently and thoroughly explains procedures and diagnostics.

Ben Reeves

Dr. Jade Fettig is so kind, thoughtful, and good at what she does. You can tell she really cares about her patients and makes what could be awkward check-ups into comfortable, and pleasant experiences.The office lounge is clean, updated and really relaxing. Absolutely recommend her as a provider!

Carrie Konczal

Dr Rothstein is amazing. Very thorough during her exams and explains everything as she goes along. The staff is great as well! Best physician I have in the Denver area.

Philip Yost

Dr. Joel Cohen is a superbly skilled dermatologist as well as a most caring doctor who always put his patient's best interest first and foremost

Diana Lee