Some of the first signs of aging are when fine lines begin to form around the eyes and lips. As the Collagen and Elastin continue to diminish, deeper lines and grooves form in our brow, next to the nose and down to the corners of our mouths. Surface irregularities such as rough lesions, pre-cancers, or pigment discoloration may also occur.
Our advanced technologies enable us to treat red complexions, fine wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, large pores and other skin imperfections safely, easily and effectively with very little downtime.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is performed in conjunction with a topical application of an acid solution called ALA (aminolevulinic acid), a product that makes cells more sensitive to light in order to treat the signs of skin damage, including pre-cancers.
How does PDT work?
PDT delivers specific wavelengths of intense light through very specific filters to the skin. Once delivered, the targeted tissue absorbs the light’s energy. We use our advanced light systems and topical applications of ALA to restore a more youthful appearance to your skin by efficiently treating redness, flushing, pigmentation problems, scars and wrinkles; to provide you with smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin.
PDT for Pre-Cancers:
PDT has been most extensively studied on the treatment of Actinic Keratoses, a pre-cancer that tends to be a red and scaly lesion on sun damaged skin. Many patients with Actinic Keratoses find this in-office procedure preferable to, and more time-efficient than, the home-applied topical creams. A few treatment sessions can usually significantly reduce or clear a large area of pre-cancers.
Can PDT treat acne?
Light therapy can be administered alone or in conjunction with a topical application of ALA for the treatment of acne. PDT has been shown to shrink and destroy oil glands as well as to kill bacteria in your skin that causes acne. Combination treatment with light and topical ALA may offer a synergistic effect with additional reduction of acne lesions. Studies show certain wavelengths (including blue light) provide treatment for both active lesions and acne-prone sebaceous or oil-secreting glands. In addition, patients with certain types of rosacea will usually see a reduction in facial redness and sometimes some improvement in small papules as well.
What are the benefits of PDT?
- Fewer treatments in some cases, versus laser or pulse-light rejuvenation alone
- Reduction in pre-cancers (Actinic Keratoses)
- Reduction of redness and flushing
- Smoother skin
- Reduction of acne lesions
- Reduction of pore size
- More even skin tone
- Softened wrinkles
- Healthier-looking skin
What are the treatments and recovery like?
PDT is usually spaced at four week intervals. Treatment regimens vary from patient to patient depending on the condition being treated. You will receive a topical application of ALA solution prior to your treatment session. PDT can cause mild to moderate pain during treatments. After the treatment mild to severe redness, blistering and scabbing can occur. These effects depend on how long the ALA solution is left on, how much light is used, and which light source is used to activate the ALA. The worst cases heal like a severe sunburn over a few days.
It is important for patients to avoid all bright light sources (including going outdoors, proximity to windows or sky lights or even exposure to bright indoor lights) for 48 hours after treatment. Otherwise, you may resume normal activities immediately. After treatment, there may also be some discomfort. The skin may appear flushed, brown spots may be darker and tiny veins may be more visible. This will usually diminish over the next couple of days.
What results can I expect?
After each PDT session, you will experience some improvement in skin tone and texture. There will be a decrease in the overall redness and flushing. Pre-cancers and sunspots will fade; pore sizes will shrink. Fine lines and wrinkles can gradually decrease in size as the new collagen forms beneath the skin. These improvements will continue to increase with each treatment.