Dermatology at the Alvor hospital rated top of the list – nationally

The dermatology consultation at the Hospital Particular do Alvor has been given a top rating nationally, as the most differentiated consultation in the area of cutaneous oncology.

In fact, the Alvor hospital offers innovative diagnosis and treatment techniques in the area of oncology dermatology: Computerised Digital Dermatoscopy and Topical Photodynamic Therapy, respectively.

As in other national and international dermatology centres, the dermatology consultations at the private hospital in Alvor can now boast of having the most advanced non-invasive diagnostic techniques in this field, namely Computerised Digital Dermatoscopy, carried out by Dr André Laureano, nationally considered one of the most outstanding dermatologists in this field.

Computerised Digital Dermatoscopy permits mapping of pigmented lesions (“moles”) which is registered by a video camera connected to a computer system. Storage of the images makes it possible for them to be compared over time, on the one hand aiding the early diagnosis of skin cancer and on the other lessening the need for unnecessary surgical procedures on benign lesions.

On the other hand, the Topical Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a widely used, non-invasive treatment for certain non-melanoma skin cancers, permitting treatment of large and multiple lesions with excellent cosmetic results.

The PDT has demonstrated high efficacy in the treatment of non-hyperkeratotic actinic keratoses, Bowen’s disease, superficial basal cell carcinomas, with exceptional cosmetic results when compared to conventional therapies. These clinical results have been extensively studied and proved in numerous clinical trials. Its application in dermatology has expanded in recent years, due to clinical trials in various inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Photodynamic Therapy involves administering a photosensitizing agent, where it accumulates in target cells, followed by selective irradiation of the lesion with radiation of appropriate wavelength. The photosensitizer is stimulated by irradiation, the energy being subsequently transferred to molecular oxygen leading to the formation of reactive oxygen, which will oxidize essential cell components. Photodynamic Therapy mechanisms include direct cytotoxicity, vascular damage and inflammatory immune response.

The light sources used in Photodynamic Therapy should emit light at wavelengths within the absorption spectrum of the photosensitizer used in PDT treatment. LED light bulbs are used for the photodynamic treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer.

PDT should be considered as a therapeutic option, particularly in the case of patients with superficial, multiple or disseminated lesions as well as in immunosuppressed patients.

Photodynamic Therapy is safe and well tolerated. Its main side effects are a burning sensation, stinging, or pain restricted to the irradiated area, erythema, swelling and itching.

Article supplied by the Hospital Particular do Algarve Group, with hospitals in Alvor and Gambelas (Faro)