PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT) is a safe, effective, non-surgical procedure used to treat a variety of skin conditions including acne, rosacea, sun-damage, scars, wrinkles, large pores, and actinic keratoses (AKs), an early potential sign of skin cancer.
A clear solution of a photosensitizing agent called ALA or Levulan is applied to the skin. Approximately 30 to 60 minutes later the solution is activated by specific wavelengths of intense light. This effect activates and destroys abnormal cells, while leaving healthy skin unharmed. When used to treat acne, this effect activates the porphyrins in the bacteria, effectively killing them.
This treatment is performed at your doctor’s office and takes approximately one hour. A topical anesthesia is applied for patients with sensitive skin prior to the procedure. Treatments are typically spaced in two to three week intervals, although the actual number of treatments, treatment time, and treatment intervals will vary depending on your condition.
After treatment, your pain level should be minimal to nonexistent and you may resume your normal activities right away. The skin may appear flushed, brown spots may appear darker and tiny veins may be more visible however this will decrease over the next several hours.
The most obvious benefit is the permanent lightening in the overall appearance of the treated area. Significant tightening of the skin with a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles may also be observed. In addition, you can expect reduction in the overall sun damage, as well as the number of precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses). It can also improve scars, enhance the texture of the skin and decrease the size of large pores. With each treatment, these improvements will continue to increase ultimately providing you with smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin.