Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
What is Photodynamic Therapy?
PDT is a non-invasive therapy that utilizes light treatments in combination with the application of the photosensitizing agent which is typically a medicine called Luvulan (5-aminolevulinic acid).
What does PDT treat?
ACNE: PDT is thought to treat acne by two primary mechanisms. First, it shrinks the skin’s oil glands that contribute to acne formation. This can drastically reduce the amount of oil within the pores, thereby reducing comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Second, PDT also kills the bacteria that live on the facial skin and cause acne breakouts. In addition, PDT seems to improve the skin’s overall texture, and may speed the resolution of acne-induced discoloration.
PDT is indicated for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick actinic keratosis of the face or scalp. Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that can lead to skin cancer. It is important to treat AKs because there is no way to tell when or which lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer.
What kind of results can I expect?
The majority of patients report significant improvements. While results are not guaranteed, the majority of patients are very satisfied with this treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
A series of 4-8 treatments are usually performed at 2-4 weeks apart. The exact number of treatments needed depend on the severity of your condition.
What are the possible side effects?
Side effects of PDT may include redness and/or peeling of the treatment site. Patients have described it as being similar to a sunburn. It is generally mid and resolves in 1-8 days.