Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a safe and effective way to reduce acne, skin redness, fine wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and large pores. PDT is also used to treat actinic keratosis (precancerous cells). PDT is light therapy performed in conjunction with a topical application of Levulan® (aminolevulinic acid) to treat skin damage.
The Levulan® solution is applied to the affected areas first, and patients will “incubate” for a prescribed amount of time. Patients will then sit under the Blue Light which activates the Levulan®. The Levulan® penetrates deep down into the sebaceous glands in the skin to help a variety of skin conditions and concerns.
When treating actinic keratosis, the solution is applied directly to the AK. The solution is then absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to the blue light, a reaction occurs which destroys the AK cells.
When treating acne, the pre treatment with topical Levulan® offers additional reduction of lesions, pustules and papules.
Treatments are spaced at 4 to 6 week intervals or however your provider designs your PDT program as treatments and treatment time may vary dependent upon the condition of the skin and results desired.
When treating acne, patients will see an improvement in skin tone and texture, a decrease in overall redness, improvement in oiliness and acne reduction. When treating actinic keratosis, patients will see a reduction in sun spots. This is a preventative measure for treating pre-cancerous cells.
Depending on the intensity of your treatment, the skin may appear slightly red and pigmentation spots may darken. These effects will fade over the next several hours. The following day the skin might feel warm, flushed and even slightly itchy; a soothing hydrocortisone cream may be recommended. The skin might begin to flake off a few days post-treatment as new collagen is formed. Down-time varies with each patient and their skin’s response to the tailored treatment recommended by your provider. Post-care products will be prescribed at the time of your visit.
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