Mild to severe acne, appearance of acne scars, and sun damage
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive method of treating common facial skin conditions such as age spots, rosacea, and acne. By combining a photosensitizing solution called Levulan® and a light source systems, photodynamic therapy targets specific skin cells while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.
What is Photodynamic Therapy used for?
Photodynamic therapy was first used on to treat pre-cancerous lesions. Later it was used for rosacea, facial wrinkles, sun damage, and age spots. The most recent and innovative treatment is Photodynamic acne therapy which is becoming a great alternative to medications such as Accutane® for the treatment of mild to moderate acne.
How does PDT work?
A photosensitizer agent is applied to the skin and is absorbed into sebaceous glands. It is then activated by a blue-light is used for 8 - 12 minutes which leads to shrinkage of these glands. This results in significant improvement in moderate to severe cystic acne.
Is PDT uncomfortable?
During the PDT treatment the skin is washed several times and the photosensitizer agaent is appied which may cause a slight stinging sensation. Immediately following the treatment you may have some itching and a mild sunburn feeling.
What can I expect for the first week following the treatment?
The skin will be extremely red and slightly swollen (most likely around the eyes). This will subside in 3-7 days following the treatment. Applications of ice or cold packs will help. After about 48-72 hours the top layer of your skin will scale, flake, and peel off. Sun exposure must be avoided for the week following the treatment. You will be given post care instructions and products to help minimize these effects.
What are some side effects?
Although allergic reactions are rare, some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the active agent. Before undergoing photodynamic therapy, we will discuss the side effects, risks, and benefits with you.