Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

PDT is an Effective and beautifying skin rejuvenation for Rosacea, Sun Damage, Age Spots, Actinic Keratoses (AKs) and Acne.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) greatly improves sun-damaged skin, fine lines, blotchy pigmentation and rough skin patches. PDT even has the unique ability to minimize pores and reduce oil glands.

The therapy involves an application of a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan. Levulan is a substance that is naturally occurring in the body. When applied topically, it is selectively absorbed into rapidly growing photo damaged skin cells, sebaceous glands, hair follicles and actinic keratoses lesions (AKs).

How Does PDT Work?
Using light from either our IPL or BLU-U light sources converts the Levulan into a photosensitizing agent, and it destroys the target cells. The skin improves in both texture and tone. A much appreciated effect of PDT is the reduction of pore size since the sebaceous glands are tempered, reducing oil flow and consequently pore blockage.

What Are PDT Treatment Standards?
The preparation of the skin, incubation time, wavelength and light source used to activate the medication is dependant upon the area of the body being treated, as well as the condition. Topical Levulan enhances the efficacy of the PDT treatments for facial photo aging, and often results in decreasing the number of treatments needed for optimal results. Patients with severe sun-damaged skin manifested by actinic keratoses, texture and tone changes may achieve excellent results.

To achieve maximum improvement, a series of three treatments at 2 to 4 week intervals are most effective. Some patients with actinic keratoses will achieve results in only one treatment. More treatments may be done in the future, as necessary, to maintain the results of the newly rejuvenated skin.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a multi-use light activated system for destroying abnormal cells and affecting the function of overactive sebaceous glands which are a root cause of acne. PDT works through a two-step process. First, a topical solution called Levulan is applied to the area to be treated. Then once this solution has been absorbed by “target cells” (these are the abnormal cells such as acne) a medical light is used to turn on the Levulan action. This action destroys the acne cells and shrinks and disables the sebaceous gland which produces excess skin oils. The final result is clearer skin, reduced oil production and more refined pores.

What Is The PDT Process?

The skin in the area to be treated is cleansed and prepped with an acetone scrub. The Levulan is applied and incubated for 30 to 120 minutes. The time is determined by the local area to be treated, skin type and severity of acne.

Is PDT For Acne Painful?
The Levulan stings when applied but quickly subsides. When the light is turned on, you may experience varying levels of stinging or burning which may be somewhat intense for a few moments.

Most patients gladly deal with the temporary discomfort in exchange for clearer skin. Because your skin will be hypersensitive following treatment you will be instructed to remain totally out of the sun for the first 48 hours to prevent reactivation of the Levulan and sun-induced overreaction. You will experience a sunburn effect the first 2 days following application. Beginning day 3 your skin may feel tight and begin to peel. There is redness following treatment which is all part of the process.

How Many PDT Acne Treatments Will I Need?
This will be very dependent upon your individual acne levels and skin type. It is recommended that you receive 1 to 3 treatments with the Levulan at 2 to 4 week intervals. Your treatment schedule will be discussed with you. Often patients with acne observe excellent response after even one treatment.

What Are The Advantages Of PDT Over Other Acne Therapies?
PDT comes to the rescue when many other treatments have failed or have not offered substantial improvement. The therapy may be used in conjunction with RX medication but does not depend on these to get the job done. PDT kills the acne bacteria, as well as reduces the size and activity of the sebaceous glands that are a main factor in acne. PDT helps restore the skin’s integrity resulting in the overall improvement of the acne condition.


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