Daylight photodynamic therapy for actinic keratosis: an international consensus: International Society for Photodynamic Therapy in Dermatology

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jun;26(6):673-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04386.x. Epub 2011 Dec 23.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an attractive therapy for non-melanoma skin cancers including actinic keratoses (AKs) because it allows treatment of large areas; it has a high response rate and results in an excellent cosmesis. However, conventional PDT for AKs is associated with inconveniently long clinic visits and discomfort during therapy. In this article, we critically review daylight-mediated PDT, which is a simpler and more tolerable treatment procedure for PDT. We review the effective light dose, efficacy and safety, the need for prior application of sunscreen, and potential clinical scope of daylight-PDT. Three randomized controlled studies have shown that daylight-mediated PDT is an effective treatment of thin AKs. Daylight-mediated PDT is nearly pain-free and more convenient for both the clinics and patients. Daylight-mediated PDT is especially suited for patients with large field-cancerized areas, which can easily be exposed to daylight. Further investigations are necessary to determine at which time of the year and in which weather conditions daylight-mediated PDT will be possible in different geographical locations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erythema / etiology
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Keratosis, Actinic / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Photochemotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sunlight*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage


  • Sunscreening Agents